Assignments, Evaluations and Lessons

This is a sample of my collection of work from my pre-internship!

 

ELA 9
Survival Unit Major Project
March 31st, 2014

Your task for this assignment is to research and report on a survivor. Remember that there are many different struggles that people survive and many different ways they survive those struggles. Reflect on the different situations of survival that we have discussed throughout the unit, both man-made and natural.
Once you have chosen a survivor, research their survival tale. You will want to find out who they are, where they are from and other basic background information. You will also need to research what they survived and how they survived. Your choice of survivor is important so please choose carefully and find a survivor tale that is meaningful or interesting to you.
Individual research
The focus questions for research are
• Who is the survivor?
• What makes a person a survivor?
• What did they survive?
• What coping tactics (strategies) does/did this survivor use?
• What aspects of the survivor’s personality (traits) helped him/her to cope?

Once you have gathered all your necessary information, you will present this information by:
A) Creating a poster which includes all the necessary information listed above
B) Creating a fake Facebook profile template featuring the survivor and the information above
C) Creating a pamphlet which includes all the information above and why your survivor is the greatest survivor.

*Please cite your resources that you use to research your survivor.

Evaluation:
Information /17
Creativity /3
The Survivor Brochure

The brochure is not an in depth study of a topic but it should give enough information to grab and keep the readers interest from start to finish. Choose 2 to 3 key points about the survivor to describe. If there are other important elements, consider listing them in a simple bullet list or chart somewhere in your brochure. In addition to what your brochure says, you must decide the best format to present your information. Different formats work best for brochures with lots of text, lots of pictures, small blocks of text, lists, charts, or maps. You’ll need to find the format that works best for your survivor story.

Be sure to include:
• Use MS Word in Landscape mode, to change to Landscape –> File / Page Setup / Paper Size / Landscape
• Sub titles to break the information into short quick-read sections
• Bullets to highlight important points
• One Textbox containing important information, such as web sites to learn more.
• Graphics

 

BROCHURE EVALUATION
Application – Use of Word features /10
Thinking & Inquiry – Correct format and orientation of brochure /5
Communication – Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Content /5
________________________________________

 

Brainstorm and list ideas.

This general format will need to be modified for each survivor’s story according to
• the survival ‘problem’ or situation
Survivors of the Titanic
Survivors of the Holocaust (Anne Frank)
Survivors of the War
Survivors featured in any of the stories we read this unit
Local Survivors
Survivors featured in film:
127 Hours- Aron Ralston
Captain Phillips

 

Sample lesson plan:

Day Two:
Surviving and Conquering Unit
Tuesday March 18th, 2014

Hand out Journals- Names on them
Hand out Name Tents
Today we are continuing to learn about natural disasters that we have to survive.
Journal Writing Prompt
Journals: The students must write prompt responses in them every class hour for an exceptional (5 Points), satisfactory (3 Points), or unsatisfactory (No Points). Journals will be collected on Fridays and returned graded on Mondays. – 20% of unit grade
KTLA St. Patrick’s Day Earthquake- Major 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake in L.A.

What scary situation/ natural or man-made have you survived? What was it? Why was it scary? What did you do to survive? If not do you know anyone who has survived a scary situation?
Snow storms, flooding, hail storms, thunder storms, extreme heat, extreme cold, power outage, getting lost/stranded

Watch the Man vs Wild clip
Watch once
Watch again and this time tell students to look for obstacles they have to overcome and survive
Who survives?
What all do they survive? Evidence
How do they survive and conquer? Evidence

Lost at Sea-Scenario Situations
Explain the task to students-
Read story aloud to students (Have copies?)( Put on board?)
Explain unknown terms
Hand out ranking sheet to each student
Allow students ten minutes to complete ranking and then put them in their groups to discuss their ranks
Have each group discuss and come up with a group ranking
Have groups share their rankings with the class
Read the U.S. Navy Rankings
Ask students how they did.
Remind students to bring markers/crayons if want for tomorrows class
Outcomes and Indicators:
Outcome: CR9.1b
View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g., Exploring Loyalty, Love, and Relationships), social responsibility (e.g., Equal Opportunity), and efficacy (e.g., Surviving and Conquering).

a. View, listen to, read, and respond to a variety of visual, oral, print and multimedia (including digital) texts that address the grade-level themes and issues related to identity, social responsibility, and efficacy including those that reflect diverse personal identities, worldviews, and backgrounds (e.g., appearance, culture, socio-economic status, ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, language, career pathway).
b. View, listen to, and read a variety of texts related to the theme or topic of study and show comprehension and demonstrate response by:
understanding the ideas:Effectively summarize and explain the ideas in texts; cite details that support the main ideas; make logical inferences; interpret obvious themes or author’s message logically.

Assessment: Formative assessment to check for general understanding of survival and pre-requisite knowledge

The rankings will not be marked

 

Extra Time: Survival Posters

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Week 3: Evaluations and Emotions

Well the end is finally here! On friday my partner and I boxed up our teacher things and took one last look at what had become our classroom home for the past couple of weeks. It was a sad moment saying good-bye to our co-op teacher who had become like a teacher mom to us. While we were elated to have made it to the end and have all the stress conclude, we were also sad to leave. We were so fortunate to have the co-op teacher we had as she was awesome! She taught my partner and I so much in so little time, not only in what she told us explicitly, but also in what she demonstrated on a daily basis. I had grown so accustomed to our pre-intern table and our daily routine, that I had almost forgot how to go to class today at university. I miss my students and my classroom, and while I know I can’t really claim these as mine after only three weeks, I still feel like they are somewhat mine. This experience has been such a positive reaffirmation of my desire to be a teacher. Sometimes things were difficult, and sometimes lessons went really wrong, but at the end of the day you have to roll with the punches and focus on the positives.

I love creating engaging and fun lessons plans and thinking outside the box. I think my teaching style is a little different than most, but I think that’s alright because every teacher teaches in a such a diverse way. I think this enthusiasm for teaching and the connections with my students are what makes me so excited to have a career as a teacher!

This last week of my pre-internship was all about evaluations and emotions. Because this was the wrap up week, both my partner and I had lots of projects wrapping up. With projects comes evaluations. In my period three grade nine class I had my students complete their major project which was spotlighting a survival story. Their task was to find and research a survivor story that they found interesting and then share that story in one of three ways: a Facebook profile of the survivor, a brochure spotlighting the survivor story, or a poster which displays the survivor in a creative way.

I found that these options provided all learners with a different platform to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. I also provided each student with a detailed assignment sheet which included the evaluation criteria as well as all the elements which were to be included. As a class we look through some exemplars of each type of assignment in order for the students to have a more detailed look at what was expected for the assignment. I have learned the importance of providing my students with student work and exemplars of projects, so I made sure to go through these in detail with my class. I think in the long run it truly did benefit my students as the majority of the final projects were exceptional.

In order to evaluate these marks I used different criteria for each of the three types of projects. I provided the students with my evaluation criteria prior to them completing their projects, which I think is so important for teachers to do. Otherwise, how can teachers expect students to fulfill criteria that is invisible to them? Without a guide, students are lost and frustrated when their projects don’t meet the teacher’s expectations. There were a lot of projects to mark and at first this seems very daunting. “How long is this going to take?” I wondered. I found that some of the assignments were easier to mark than others. And while I relied as much as I could on my criteria, sometimes I had to re-evaluate the project and reassess the mark. Sometimes I felt I was marking too easy, and sometimes I found I was marking too hard. And I know that this is why using criteria and rubrics is so important, but what do you do when there is controversy with the rubric? When you feel the rubric is doing the project justice. Some students failed the project and this broke my heart. I felt I had given my students all the necessary directions and supports, as well as class time to complete the project with the criteria expected and communicated. Nonetheless, two students failed to fulfill the criteria and went a completely different direction. Because It was the last day of my pre-internship, I had to leave the marks with my co-op teacher. However, if the situation had been different I would have liked to give these students a second chance to re-do the project.

In our team teaching class my partner and I had to evaluate our students’ Etymology Posters. These were a much more positive evaluating experience because we got to do it together. We went through each project and evaluated it using the rubric together. For the most part we agreed on marks, and a few we had to hash out to come to an agreement on the mark. Creativity was one of the criteria for this project, so it was a little more difficult to evaluate. I really enjoyed evaluating with a partner, and wish this collaborative assessment and evaluation could be a constant. It was a much more productive and positive process I found, not to mention an amazing opportunity to connect and learn from other educators in the area of assessment and evaluation.

 

The end of my pre-internship and my final good-bye were an emotional chapter, and I’m so thankful to have experienced it all.

Thank you so much for reading my posts and following my internship journey! It has been an amazing journey and I’m happy to say that it is not the end, but just the beginning.

Please stay tuned for a showcase of my pre-internship lesson plans and evaluation guides!

Until next time,

Miss G

 

Second Week of Internship: Success and Struggle

I have completed week two and I’m feeling excited and exhausted. It is crazy to think how much you can connect and get to know your students. It’s going to be hard leaving the classroom after three weeks. Although I have not learned a lot about each individual learner’s needs and abilities within my short time at the school, I have made substantial progress. As I mentioned before my class does not require any major adaptations, although I do have some minor adaptations that I incorporate into my daily lessons. For example, one of my students struggles with organization, so I have been consistently focusing on keeping our assignment and lessons organized and clear as possible. One way that I have done this is through the use of classroom duotangs. I have been using these to hold all of the student work throughout our survival unit. As well, dating these notes and handouts has also helped to keep the students on track. Another more informal adaptation that I have made through this class is with communication. Because some of my students are EAL students I have ensured that my communication is audible and clear. I also make sure to repeat instructions and sometimes re-phrase a task to ensure that all of my students understand. I have also found vital providing my students with written or visual instructions in addition to verbal instructions.

I have tried many different forms of assessment throughout my first two weeks, and some have worked better than others. I have found that incorporating routine forms of assessment is a very efficient way of ensuring consistency. I have found that one of my favourite ways of assessment is just simply asking questions. I never imagined I would rely so heavily on this form of assessment but I find with my classroom that questioning works wonders and keeps them all engaged and thinking critically. We have also been completing daily journal prompts which help me assess their knowledge of the survival unit, as well as their writing skills and abilities. Exit slips have also been helpful to reflect on my lessons and my teaching abilities. Sometimes the exit slips do not produce the information I’m looking for, but then I try to reflect on the questions and re-assess whether I was asking the wrong question or I need to re-teach a certain concept.

In terms of evaluation we have already completed one section for this unit which was our Survival Role Plays which the students loved and did exceedingly well with. For the most part I have a very performance loving class, so this worked out wonderfully. I’m still finding it challenging to mark my students as sometimes I’m feeling guilty for marking too low, or marking too high. Sometimes I feel emotions can get in the way. I have learned so much from my Co-op teacher and from other teachers on staff as well which has been wonderful. I have even been fortunate to steal some rubrics which is like Christmas morning for me. I think one of the major things I have discovered through this internship is the vital need to provide specifics when it comes to assignments, as well as having the most detailed and efficient rubric. Having an effective rubric not only helps me as a teacher to mark objectively and accurately, but it also helps my students understand what is expected and how to succeed.

One question I have going forward is how to provide samples of assignments to students when it is the first time we are trying these assignments as new teachers. Sometimes it can be very time-consuming to create a sample myself so I was wondering if there was an alternative option or if this is just something that needs time dedicated to.

I’m looking forward to wrapping up my last of my pre-internship but I’m also sad that it is coming to an end. I’ve really enjoyed my time as a “teacher” thus far and I know for certain that I will miss my co-op teacher as well as my grade 9’s.

 

Until next time,

Ms. G

First Week of Pre-Internship

We have started our first week of pre-internship and it is very exciting…and exhausting! We are quickly learning how much planning and preparation it takes to be a teacher. We are learning so much from our co-operating teacher and from other teachers on staff. Today we spent our lunch hour at a staff meeting to discuss the new system of RAD. At Campbell we are using the RAD system to evaluate and assess student reading levels. Our teacher uses an online gradebook to record and keep track of her student progress, and this also allows for parents to track their child’s academic progress. I find evaluation the most difficult task thus far. How do I know what to assess and what to evaluate? How much evaluation is necessary? Weighting assignments is also a very difficult task for me. Our Co-op teacher has been very helpful to my partner and I in answering some of these questions and concerns we have thus far.

It has been so beneficial to look at other teacher’s rubrics as they all look a little different and focus on different aspects. In terms of adaptive dimensions my classroom needs very little adaptions. So far I have just been using some of the level one interventions throughout my lesson plans and adapting some of the assignments and time constraints. I have been getting the students to complete exit slips for the first couple of days and reading these has helped me see if the students understood the lesson or still have some difficulties or questions/concerns with the topic or lesson. Another form of assessment I have been experimenting with is the use of journals. I have daily writing prompts as well as different reading and writing responses that I have the students complete and hand in to me. I have really enjoyed reading these and it has helped me get to know the students on a much deeper level. Issues, fears or concerns they might not feel comfortable sharing in the class now has a opportunity and platform to be shared. I have been using these to assess my students’ prior understanding and knowledge about the topic of survival, the unit we have just begun.

As I have just began to get to know my students, I am not very familiar with all of their individual interests and learning needs. This is something that takes time and I hope that I can develop through the three week internship.

I am still working on developing my unit evaluations and rubrics, as this is a much bigger task and I need to put some more work into it. I am going to conference more with my co-op teacher and get some more support and resources for grade nine evaluations and expectations.

Our internship is just getting started and we have so much more work ahead of us. It is easy to get discouraged by all the lesson planning and assessing, but it has been a great experience thus far and I know these next couple of weeks will fly by.

Week Seven Reflection

This week in ECS 410 we reflected on our case studies assignment. I found this assignment challenging as I have never done case studies before. The most difficult part of the assignment was trying to find research and resources to supplement my responses. It was hard to find where to locate these resources and also find research that pertains to the assessment response and to my English major. I think if we were to do this assignment again that going over ways to find professional resources would be beneficial to our success. I think this would save some frustration and confusion, and would help us improve our arguments as well.

In addition to talking about our case studies, we also participated in some great cooperative learning. We learned some new assessment strategies including Damien Cooper’s Eight Levels of Assessment. We split the two groups of ECS 410 and each group learned a different strategy, then we switched and learned from each other. This is much like the Jigsaw Strategy which is a super strategic way of dividing the course work. I really enjoyed interacting with the other section of the class and getting to teach a new concept to my classmates.We all really enjoyed these assessment resources and found them extremely useful and practical.

This week we are getting ready to embark on our pre-internship journey! This is both exciting and frightening! I have a lot of different concerns and anxieties heading into our first week of pre-internship. What will my co-op teacher be like? What will it be like to teach high school students? How will I get to know my students? How will I assess their knowledge? How will I observe and assess their behavior? I’m looking forward to answering some of these questions and learning a magnitude of things from my co-op teacher. I’m really looking forward to these first two days of observations to gain a deeper understanding of the school, as well as getting to know my students. I’m also very glad that we get to do these interships with a partner as walking into a high school classroom for the first time can be very daunting! I still feel very young to be a teacher to be completely honest, especially when my students are eighteen. It has been a relief though to get to communicate and share my anxieties and fears with classmates, as many of us are all feeling the exact same thing. I’m excited and nervous…. here we go!

Week Six Reflection

This week we read a controversial article on including behaviour marks in our students’ final marks. We all read the article with opposing views and afterwards we were able to discuss amongst our table groups. I found that I was torn between both sides of the argument. On the one hand a student’s behaviour is very important both in the classroom and outside the classroom. A student needs to work hard and cooperate with others, as well as show up on time and maintain a regular attendance. Without meeting these foundational needs, they won’t be able to move ahead in their studies and develop as a well-rounded contributing member of society. For these reasons, a part of me wants a student’s behaviour to be included as part of their overall marks. It is part of the reason for their success, so shouldn’t it be part of their marks as well? 

On the other hand, I know that sometimes students struggle more in different areas than others. Therefore she would punish a brilliant student for their struggle to use appropriate volume levels in the classroom? There are so many issues and hurdles that our students face that we do not know or understand, therefore are we in a position to judge them. For example, maybe a student is having trouble at home and that is causing them to be late for early morning classes. Should this reflect poorly on them academically? 

Grades have such a large impact on a student’s overall success, so these are considerations that must be made and considered very carefully. I am truly torn on this matter, so I will have to do more research and thinking before I enter the field as a teacher. The article we read was for keeping behaviour marks in students’ overall mark, and when it comes down to it, I think I would have to agree to a certain degree.

I wanted to do some more exploring into this issues, so I read a couple of articles and one that really stood out and seemed to portray my thoughts on the issues was found on learningdiversity.org. This article, posted by Jason Przypek states that while students should not be punished for undesirable behaviour, their good behaviour should somehow be represented. I agree with this and believe that students need to not only be able to know the answer to the test, but also be well-rounded respectable people as well.

We spent the last half of the class working on our unit plans with our partners. My partner and I have decided to create our unit on the B10 curriculum. It is nice to have the opportunity to work on these units with classmates and have our peers review them while we are still in university. It becomes a much less daunting task when your working with someone else, and often my partner and I have very different ideas so it helps create a varied and diverse unit plan. While we are still learning and figuring out the ins and outs of unit planning and the curriculum, it is so beneficial to review other people’s unit plans and see other perspectives and units. In the long term I hope to be able to continue doing this with my fellow staff members and networking colleagues. I’m beginning to realize more and more how large of a work load teachers have, so learning these collaborative and cooperative learning techniques helps make these large tasks not so impossible. Sometimes I find unit planning a struggle at first and its hard to see how everything will fit together until you have made some progress, so I am looking forward to getting to that point!

Resources: Grading: Should Behaviour Count? By Jason Pryzpek-Learning Diversity

http://www.learningdiversity.org/2010/12/grading-should-behavior-count/

Week Five Reflection

During week five of our ECS 410 Assessment and Evaluation Class we spent the majority of the class at learning stations. We broke up into our subject areas and took turns rotating to the different stations around the classroom. Each station represented a different knowledge of assessment and evaluating our students. I found this teaching method to be particularly useful for me as a learner because it made me responsible for the knowledge I attain. I think that developing this learner autonomy is so crucial for creating and nurturing life long learners. Like the Jigsaw strategy which I have researched, this formation of learning allows independent learning, but we also dependent upon others in our group in order to get the most out of each station.

I believe that sometimes its important for the teacher to take a step back and allow the students to be the leaders in the learning. It’s easy for us to always be in control and lead our class. However, our students need to learn independence and take interest in their own learning. When we get to collaborate and communicate with our fellow classmates, we are being active learners and a great amount of knowledge attainment is happening. Not only are we increasing our knowledge though, we are also developing our socializing, collaborating and communicating skills. Learning stations are a great teaching strategy, although they require a great deal of planning and preparation on the teacher’s part.

My favourite station was the one which discussed evaluation through testing. I found that tips on creating true and false quizzes as well as multiple choices quizzes was very informative. I had no idea some of the things that you are supposed to avoid doing in making these quizzes because I have experienced them all as a teacher. Things like not including an all of the above or none of the above as options were interesting and made me really think of the effectiveness of these tests. We had a great discussion on this type of evaluation, and we found that many people in our group really struggled with these tests even if we had the knowledge as we would often second guess ourselves.

I read a really interesting article by Vanderbilt University which discusses the effectiveness of multiple choice quizzes. It examines the three keys of the quizzes, validity, versatility, and reliability. These quizzes can be difficult for a teacher to create because word choice can either bring clarity or confusion. I like this article because it explains how to write an effective question and choices. It also provides examples which are helpful to refer to. Multiple choice quizzes can be an effective form of assessment and evaluation, but they must be carefully created by the teacher in order to provide clear and concise records and feedback.

Resources: Writing Good Multiple Choice Test Questions: by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Assistant Director-Vanderbilt University