Students learning styles are unique, dynamic and require a variety of teaching methods to ensure they are able to learn and grow. Just as unique are the ways students show what they have learned and demonstrate their depth of understanding. Not all students are able to present their acquired knowledge in the same fashion. This is why I implement a variety of assessment methods in my class. I want to allow each student the opportunity to shine, feel confident and take ownership of their learning. However, in order for students to reach that level of confidence, it is important that they know and trust they will be provided with the opportunity to prove themselves. In my teaching style, assessment is far from a one shoe fits all methodology.
Performance Based Assessment on Mass, Volume, Density and Physical and Chemical Properties
The best thing about this assessment is the kids have no anxiety about it as it isn’t a typical test. They love completing is because they are able to do hands on experiments. The challenge is that it is entirely independent. This performance based assessment is powerful in middle school science as it assesses basic skills students will continue to draw upon throughout their education. In order to complete this assessments students rotate to two centers I have prepared. One in which they calculate mass, volume and density of objects and then explain how they arrived at their answers. The other in which they practice making observations and analyzing results related to physical and chemical properties as well as chemical reactions.
Comparing Anatomy and Analyzing Homologous Structures Assessment
This assessment is notable in that it truly allows students to see the relationships among vertebrates by analyzing limbs of skeletons and creating models out of clay in order to practice comparative anatomy. They are stunned once they realize the wide array of animals that have similarities in their skeletons. Student get excited completing this activity because they have the freedom to choose their organisms. Having choice and allowing student’s personal interest in their studies is very influential in their engagement.