Assessment Cycle Formative to Summative

Responding to the learning progress of every student is a crucial step of successful teaching and can improve instruction in multiple ways; teachers must use standards based assessment that can be used for both formative and summative outcomes; students should use these same standards for self-assessment (P3).

My eighth grade drama class is currently working on scenes from “Merchant of Venice.” In the previous year, they passed the eighth grade Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) standards, dictated by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). This year, they are working towards basic high school proficiency (9th and 10th grade EALR levels). To do this they must pass a series of Grade Level Expectations and OSPI Assessments. These assessments cover areas of character physicality and speech. Both of these components are tested in a summative rubric used at the end of the 10-week long unit. This summative rubric is derived from the EALR standards at the desired grade level.

Prior to this year the student skill level was assessed qualitatively, in comparison to state EALR, without the OSPI Assessments. This year, the rubric is completely derived from these assessments. In doing so, I improve the reliability of the student outcomes.

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Chapter Tests Bloom in Taxonomy

One of the most sophisticated things a teacher can do is to offer appropriate challenge in the content area; curricula must be both standards driven and allow students to develop their competencies using multiple skill areas (e.g. reading, writing, oral communication, and technology).

Teaching social studies in the sixth grade breaks down into two central categories: ancient civilizations and academic writing. Both are based on state or national standards. Every unit, organized around one or both of these pillars, combines all the skills of Blooms Taxonomy.

The application of Blooms Taxonomy into lesson planning, along side learning standards, follows a natural progression that assists in the development of the student (P3); the use of different question types to provoke learning and assess progress is highly effective. When it comes to the end of the unit, students should be able to demonstrate their mastery across all of Blooms six categories: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, Evaluation, and Synthesis.

Students often start with a hook into the knowledge. For the unit on Mesopotamia we may watch a quick introduction video, in this case Bugs Bunny on Mesopotamia.

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Essential Theatre Standards in Washington State

Context: In 2002, the arts were identified as a core academic subject in the State of Washington by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA); this act defined the arts as consisting of four distinct disciplines: dance, music, theatre, and visual arts (Dorn, Joseph, Vavrus, 2011). ESEA essentially established that the arts were equally important to all other subjects because only a well-rounded education can increase the academic development of every student. Because of this, standards were created for each of the arts (O1).

The learning standards for the arts, including Theatre, can be found on the website for Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). They can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF or Word document.

Searching for standards is easy, providing that there is an existing knowledge of the Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALR) for the arts. The first EALR is centered on student understanding of arts knowledge, the second focuses on the student artistic process of creation, the third emphasizes student communication through the arts, and the fourth demands that students make connections across the arts and other disciplines (Dorn, et. al, 2011). A comprehensive chart of the four EALR can be found at the conclusion of this document (see Figure One). Continue reading “Essential Theatre Standards in Washington State”

Planning for Instruction

To improve as a teacher, one must reflect upon their progress, plan for future instruction, and adapt standards that are uniform across classes while allowing for the diverse needs of each student (P1). I have and will continue to do this in my teaching practice (E1).

It is interesting to think about teaching as a practice. It is never something that is perfected – it is practiced. Like medicine or an instrument it must be a continual activity where the practitioner improves and changes over time.

At the beginning of the summer, I made very general comments about lesson plans as I reflected on my past experience in the classroom. I stated, “At a basic level, lesson plans are a guide for the class. Lesson plans help to prepare for and to teach a class. A clear plan will help students understand the purpose, learning goals, and content.” I still stand by what I said. Continue reading “Planning for Instruction”