Genre Study: Assessment

IMG_3749This week, most of my students spent class working on the summative performance assessment that I created before we started this unit.

This assessment is designed only to measure their reading competency, so they have the choice to do whatever they want to do to show me what they know (except a poster, because I want them to think beyond the simplicity of a poster).

working 2Most of my students have chosen to write essays to demonstrate their reading competency, while some are demonstrating their knowledge through more hands-on projects or slideshows.

It feels strange to them that I’m not assessing them on their writing with this assessment.  I’m not sure if it’s related, but I’ve noticed them asking me many more questions about organizing and crafting their writing than when we’re doing a designated writing task.

working 4They’re using their discussion points and pithy quotes to help them build their essays and projects, which have been really helpful to remind them of plot points and character traits as they work.

This summative is due on Monday.
…which means that many are taking work home over the weekend.  Some students have chosen to to finish their summative assessments in a corny “summative party” I threw on Friday afternoon (with Halloween candy, obviously) to finish their work before the weekend.  Most of those students stayed until they finished.

I do not give zeros for missing work.  Ever.  
Students who do not have a final product for class on Monday will instead complete an alternative assessment during class, which will essentially be the same assessment, but without the choice of their final product.  (Spoiler alert:  It’s a handwritten essay.)

quote pullingI try to design alternative assessments that ensure student success and accurately measure what they know…not to shame students for not completing their work.

While it’s frustrating that some students didn’t/don’t/will never meet deadlines, I have to remember the purpose of assessment:  to find out what they know, and to find out what I need to do to get them there.

I have to remember that many of my students don’t have the support at home that they do in my classroom.

If I know that they’re only reading the book during our class time, I also need to give them time during class to demonstrate what they know about what they’re reading.

(I know some of you want to see my final numbers.  I’ll post those on Tuesday.)

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