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Assessment Study. 3 First Grade Students from Across the Reading Level Continuum. Purpose of Production. An systematic assessment study of student learning, based on three kinds of data recorded and evaluated over three points in time Collect Beginning, Middle, and End Samples for…

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assessment study

Assessment Study

3 First Grade Students from Across the Reading Level Continuum

purpose of production
Purpose of Production
  • An systematic assessment study of student learning, based on three kinds of data recorded and evaluated over three points in time
    • Collect Beginning, Middle, and End Samples for…
      • 1. Evidence of Thinking
      • 2. Work Samples
      • 3. In-the-classroom Benchmarks
kinds of data
Kinds of Data
  • Evidence of Thinking
    • Should be gathered as learners reveal what is going on in their minds– expressing thoughts intentionally or unintentionally, explicitly or implicitly, orally or in writing.
    • Looking for knowledge of self, other and the world
    • Any significant evidence of creative thinking, problem solving, logical reasoning, or interesting musing should be noted.

Shea, M., Murray, R., & Harlin, R. (2005). Drowning in data?: How to collect, organize and document student performance. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

kinds of data1
Kinds of Data
  • Work Samples
    • Result from work focused on short-term objectives
    • Should be worthy of being archived as an artifact of learning is one that shows a significant milestone in the leaner’s development.
      • Breakthroughs or “aha”s – skills or strategies that were used but confused are now performed well
      • Solid demonstration of a target goal
      • Unique insights
      • Creative thinking
      • Problem solving
      • Connections made to self, to other texts, to the world

Shea, M., Murray, R., & Harlin, R. (2005). Drowning in data?: How to collect, organize and document student performance. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

kinds of data2
Kinds of Data
  • In-the-classroom Benchmarks (I-CB)
    • Reflect what students have learned and do under normal day to day conditions; thus, these measures are authentic assessments. They enable teachers to continue to collect essential information about students’ level of performance in relation to instructional goals.
    • Work form culminating activities, completed units, and long-term

Shea, M., Murray, R., & Harlin, R. (2005). Drowning in data?: How to collect, organize and document student performance. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

curriculum unit goal
Curriculum Unit Goal
  • My goal was to make sure the student gathered some understanding the defining characteristics of a river as well as what a river habitat contains.
who to assess
Who to assess…
  • It was anticipated for this production that a small number of students would be chosen to assess
  • These students needed to be from a diverse population
    • female and male
    • Socioeconomic status
  • The main factor in deciding who to assess
    • reading levels from On-the-mark Assessment of Reading Behavior: Early Emergent- Upper Emergent (Wright Group McGraw-Hill)
reasons for choosing reading level
Reasons for Choosing Reading Level
  • When talking to my mentor teacher about who I should choose to asses she had two pieces of advice for me
    • First, choose someone that is usually present in class (the class had a large percentage of students missing each day) since I would only be in the classroom for a few weeks
    • Secondly, choose students across the reading continuum
      • This allowed me to see how their reading and writing effects their understanding and representation of the material.
      • Also it is more independent from the main subject that I would be teaching—science. This way I will not expect any of the students to perform to a specific standard in science. Instead I will be learning about what they understand about the material regardless of their previous science test scores.
student j
Student “J”
  • Considered a student of a higher reading level
    • Reading Level N
  • In school nearly everyday to be able to collect work samples
  • Male
  • Observed Tendencies:
    • Quick with his work
    • Creative and Artistic
    • Likes to use lots of descriptors to explain himself
student m
Student “M”
  • Considered to be near the middle of the reading continuum
    • Reading Level M
  • In school nearly everyday in order to collect work samples
  • Female
  • Observed Tendencies
    • Can read a lot of the work I gave her
    • “I don’t know how…”
      • She would wine a lot when she felt unmotivated and tiered. Thus some of her work would not be complete because she could not focus long enough to finish the work
student h
Student “H”
  • Considered to be a the low end of the reading continuum
    • Reading Level G
  • Also in school nearly everyday in order to collect work samples
  • Female
  • Observed Tendencies
    • Needs to be reminded of the task at hand
    • Very creative in her work
the question at the end of this worksheet shows evidence of the students thinking
The question at the end of this worksheet shows evidence of the students’ thinking.

In the beginning he was able to describe what the water was doing to the land—moving it. I wanted the students to gain the experience of seeing the water in the stream tables, pick up the plastic [sand] pieces and move them down the river. Here the student captures the point of the field trip.

slide15
In the beginning she was able to describe what she saw within the stream tables. She was able to show that the sediment was picked up and moved away from its original location. I was pleased to see her observations mimicked the purpose of the field trip.
slide16
This student was close in her grasp of the purpose of the field trip, seeing as she noted the something was moving away. However, she was unable to specify what was moving away. My hope is that she meant the sand, but I can not be sure. As for her drawing it also doesn’t help clarify what she saw moving. From this piece I can not tell what she is thinking.
student conversations
Student Conversations

Made appropriate connections to what a river looks like and understood that dirt is an important piece to what makes up a river. He also explained that the grass and dirt ‘sticking out’ was from the river moving it.

He called the bottom meander a river too because it looked just like the river above except smaller.

All of this showed me his process of thinking when it came time to define a river. It also showed that he was well on his way to using the appropriate terminology to describe the river.

slide19
She had a difficult time feeling free to tell me what she thought about the picture. After some more questioning prompts she soon felt comfortable enough to begin telling me some of the vocabulary she had picked up on.

She surprised me with the statement of where lily pads were located, considering we hadn’t begun talking about wetland animals and plants too much yet. She was already showing connections in her descriptions of a river area. She also gave great insight in to what she had learned during the field trips. All of what she had mentioned were the main points I was trying to convey with the trips.

slide20
She made an assumption that the picture was of a stream. Since a stream is just a smaller version of a river, I felt as if she at least understood that it was a body of water that moves.

She was able to tell me that the land was moved by the water, but never said the body of the water at the bottom of the page was a lake. Unfortunately this is incorrect while her description was trying to get at the fact that lakes “don’t have anything in them” which is untrue of both lakes and the picture.

finishing touches on the kw l
Finishing touches on the KWL

By the end he had furthered his understanding of rivers by being able to reference more things about them. He used a very diverse grouping of things he learned through out the month for the box center-top. I liked how he used was able to write about the 8 wetland animals we had learrned about, plus a few more that were not covered. Yet his answers were still on track. He also was able to mention the two plants we had learned in class.

He also mentioned that he learned how dirt was located in a river and that it can be cleaned out. Overall he shows a great deal more of confidence and knowledge in describing rivers.

slide23
Her and I had to work independently on this because she continued to say she “didn’t know anything” during the of the questions presented (located underneath the boxes). After prompting her to think more about the trips we went on and the specific activities we did together, she began to realize all that she knew. I was proud to see that she grasped that “stuff [dirt/sand] falls into the river,” seeing as it an important characteristic of rivers as well as one of my curriculum goals. Overall, I believe she learned more than she lets on. However, I know that it is hard to see everything she knows on this document, but with more conferencing I may be able to document more of her thinking.
slide24
She needed some more prompting from the looks of this work sample, but I was very pleased to see that she drew pictures of river and streams. While she also was able to note a few of the animals within the river habitats as well a plant that we had been discussing in class. This work sample shows that she did make some improvements in her thinking towards what is in a river.
representing other types of sources where water comes from other than our faucets
Representing other types of sources where water comes from other than our faucets.

To begin with he had several examples of where water comes from. This let me know where he was at in terms of what he knew about water sources. I was most happy to see that he mentioned a waterfall, lakes, ground, and clouds, snow [balls].

slide27
For the beginning she had one good example of where water comes from; the river. I didn’t except the other examples because they get their water from faucets or pipes. This let me know that she needed to be exposed to more bodies of water and types of water sources.
slide28
She was able to show me that water was found in a river, ocean, and a waterfall. The pool is a reference to a faucet. So when assessing her at the beginning of the unit I felt as if she knew quiet a bit about water sources.
making connections to where their water goes after they use it at school or at home
Making connections to where their water goes after they use it at school or at home.

Appropriate connection was made of where his water goes. He correctly indicated that his water goes from the faucet, to the water treatment plant, and then to the river. This showed me that he understood that his use of water will effect the river in the end. All the while this is getting at the fact that we (as humans) can change the characteristics of a river.

slide31
Appropriate connection was made to where her water goes from the faucet, to the treatment plant, and then to the river. All the while this is getting at the fact that we (as humans) can change the characteristics of a river.
slide32
She actually make an surprising connection of the water also coming form the water treatment plant to the sink. (Whether it was a mistake or on purpose I am not entirely sure.) Otherwise all other connections were made to be appropriate for documenting her understanding how where her water goes after it is used.
assessment tool rubric for rivers
Assessment Tool: Rubric for Rivers

Used for the End Work Samples as well as all of the I-CBs

where are we trying to go
Where are we trying to go?
  • My ultimate goal was to have the students understand that there was a water resource in their home town.
  • They needed to be able to indentify characteristics a river as well as its habitat
  • Using the field trips to further make connections to the above goal through gathering experiences.
where are we now
Where are we now?
  • By the end of Maymester we (as a first grade class) were able to note where the river was at in Albion, what its name was, what is carried in the river, and what plants and animals live near the river.
  • The 3 students I assessed each had their own strengths and weakness within the above list of questions.
    • J: I felt as if he was able to grasp the plants and animals as well as what is contained within our river. He also was one of the few students who could consistently remember the name of the river in Albion—the Kalamazoo River. Overall, he could make the connections in any of the activities or lessons I did, that we are learning about river characteristics and wetland habitats.
    • M: She is at a point where she could make a connection to one of each of the questions above, but most likely not be able to make the connections between all of the questions to the over arching them of river characteristics and wetland animals and plants.
    • H: Would be able to give characteristics to river through the above list of questions. However similar to ‘M,’ she would has some difficulties making the over arching connection to all the questions above being a part of rivers and river habitats.
how do we close the gap
How do we close the gap?
  • I believe that I can close the gap between my 3 students of various reading levels, but focusing on making more statements, lessons, and experiences that bring the connection that we are focusing on what rivers include to see how they effect what lives in or near them.
  • A trip that was planned and canceled would have made a great step forward in making these connections for the students. It was to the Nature Center, where the students would have met with an expert and discussed the animals and plants that live around the river and why they like living in that specific habitat.
the next steps
The “next steps”…
  • Next steps taken during Maymester
    • I tried to keep each of the students engaged with projects and materials that were either at their reading level or above their reading level in order to keep them focused on the river characteristics.
    • I made special time for those students who where having difficulties with the topic. I would work with them together or separately. While I gave out extra materials for those students that were ahead in their work, to keep focused until I was done with the other students.
    • I also did a lot of one on one conferencing with the students as I was passing by their seats to see where they were at with their worksheets, projects, and papers. My hope was to give the students the opportunity to ask questions about any confusion they were having in hopes of improving their future assesments on river characteristics.
  • Future next steps
    • My hope for the future would be to use more resources and frame more of my lesson for those students that need alternative experiences to learn about the subject. For example I would use more movies, writing workshops, hands on activities to get the students better understanding what characteristics rivers include.
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