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Teacher Evaluations, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1165

Essay

[Q1a] Formative and Summative assessments are part of the balanced assessment system in the classroom. Summative Assessments are issued in a periodic manner in order to inform the students what they know and do not know in specific subject areas. These are generally used as part of the grading process. Formative Assessments are more part of the instructional process and focus upon what is learnt from the classroom instruction process. The objective is to inform both the teacher and student on specific learning points and thereby allowing for improvements to be made. As such formative assessment is an intervention process and an integral part of the teaching process. (Ehringhaus, M. 2012).

[Q1b] In K3 training the Formative assessments are much more concerned with that of transferable learning. Here the process becomes much more transparent and focuses upon critical information components that are shared with the students. The learners take on a more responsible action for their learning requirements. This integrates freely with classroom teaching practices and enhances the sharing and negotiating skills between teacher and pupil. It involves provision of feedback to the pupils and effective questioning of them in order to determine their level of understanding. The concept of peer reviews is encouraged allowing students to input to the work of fellow pupils. The process increases the communications between teacher and pupil and helps in cementing relationships and improving the learning process. (Partnership Management Board, 2012).

With Birth-PK Learning the process needs to be much more informal and needs to be much more geared towards nurturing and maturing as opposed to that of the more formal evaluative process, more applicable to K12 learners.

[Q1c] With pre-school and primary children it is important to use less formal evaluation methods because the children are still in a nurturing stage where they require the teacher to help them develop cognitive skills in a less structured way. For example this is much more a question of playtime, getting the children to work together, focused learning opportunities and allowing the children the freedom of experimentation. The younger the child, the more difficult it is to resort to formal testing because of the emotional state of the child. At this stage more parental involvement is required using the primary caregiver as added re-enforcement to the learning and teaching process. In some ways the position is reversed here and it is the program of learning that should be evaluated in terms of how well it is meeting the childrens needs. At this stage the programme should be modified in order to ensure that these needs are both catered for and delivered in order to address developmental needs. (NIEER, 2012).

[Q1d] Diagnostic evaluation normally takes place at the beginning of the school year before teaching commences. It is often used as a pre-requisite to determine the existing skills of the pupils before they start lessons. It enables the teacher to determine the characteristics of the pupils and how well they will cope towards different methods of instruction. The evaluation process may also examine where students have specific learning difficulties and a preliminary assessment of the cause of these. This approach may also use standard achievement tests i.e. teacher designed tests that include the use of checklists, observations and results compared to that of expected ‘norm’ or average results scores. This can also illustrate to the teacher those pupils that are likely to excel and those that may required added or special attention.

[Q1e] The following types of assessment strategies might be adopted for teaching in the K-3 and Birth PK classrooms:

  • Reflections – Get the students to consider their actions or thoughts in terms of something that they have read, wrote about, or derived from a personal experience. This helps the child to increase metacognitive skills and increase their understanding of the subject matter. This can be very powerful in peer group discussion sessions;
  • Visual display – The concept of a picture speaks 1,000 words. The use of lists, pictures, charts and interpreting data with graphical images helps the childs comprehension abilities and understanding of subject matters. A valuable technique for early learners studying a foreign language
  • Organizers – Getting children to become familiar with the logical ordering and sequencing of things using lists, charts and building blocks
  • Collaboration – The concept of getting students to work in teams or groups in a collaborative fashion and improve their overall communication skills. As they develop these skills they gain more contextual placement of subject matter. (Dodge, J. 2012)

For this learning group one of the best assessment methods is by the use of Exit Cards. These are used by the student as they leave the classroom and comprise either postcards or sticky notes that can be popped into a box. The students have their names on the cards and place their understanding of a particular problem or question that was discussed in the lesson period. This enables the teacher to grab the notes and sort then into specific groups. i.e. those that have mastered the concept, those that partially understand and those that have not understood or grasped the concept of the question. This type of feedback helps the teacher in terms of progression with the class or the need for more instruction on the subject matter.

Response to formative assessments should really pay attention to three specific matters.

  • Using the assessment only as sources of information designed to help both the student and teacher in improving relationships and understanding;
  • Follow-up by impartial high quality constructive feedback mechanism that is designed to facilitate the learning process by useful intervention or corrective instruction;
  • Giving the student the further opportunity to make correction and demonstrate that they have gained mastery of the subject matter. It should never be used purely as a purpose for critique as this erodes student confidence and is destructive by nature.

[Q1f] The names of specific formative / summative assessments are:

  • Criteria and goal setting – Setting clear expectations and goals that the students can work towards and clearly understand. Essentially provides a roadmap of the journey i.e. what is required and how to get there.
  • Observation – Walking around the class to see if they understand and need any help or clarification with any points;
  • Questioning strategies – Asking questions to see if the students understand the lesson. May include the Exit Slip approach, as discussed earlier. Help teachers understand the depth of thought process of students and whether they fully understand the question or subject matter.
  • Self and peer assessment – Helps students in gaining a balanced perspective on the subject matter and facilitates improved understanding.
  • Student record keeping – Helps the students to understand their work and how the grade was determined. (Ehringhaus, C.G. 2012)

References

Dodge, J. (2012, 1 5). What Are Formative Assessments and Why Should We Use Them? Retrieved from Scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/what-are-formative-assessments-and-why-should-we-use-them

Ehringhaus, C. G. (2012, 1 5). Formative and Summative Assessments in the Classroom. Retrieved from Association for Middle Level Education: http://www.amle.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid/1120/Default.aspx

NIEER. (2012, 1 5). Pre-school policy matters. Retrieved from NIEER: http://nieer.org/resources/policybriefs/7.pdf

Partnership Management Board. (2012, 1 5). KS3 Assessment for Learning. Retrieved from Northern Ireland Curriculum: http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/docs/assessment_for_learning/training/AfL-Guidance-KS3.pdf

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