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SAMPLE ASSESSMENT TASKSSamples of assessment tasks used in classrooms are illustrated on the following pages. These are examples only and not intended to be exhaustive.
Caine and Caine, Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain
Student InterviewJournals and Logs
Oral Reading Sample
Presentation and Defense
Journal WritingGraphic Organizers
Note Taking/Note Making
Webbing and MappingComplex Tasks over Time
Senior ProjectsFamiliar Assessment Tasks
Rites of Passage Experience (ROPES)
PERFORMANCE AND EXHIBITIONS
The student product is published or presented to a real audience, ranging from one person in the classroom to a large public audience.
A student interview allows the student to demonstrate his/her understanding of interview techniques. These techniques include background research, generating questions beforehand, conducting the interview, and reflection.
Directions: You have just read Charlottes Web by E.B. White. You are going to write a story for your local newspaper about what happened to Charlotte at the fair. Your best source is Wilber the pig. You will be given a partner who will play the role of Wilber. You will conduct the interview and write the story based on your findings. You will be assessed with the interview checklist and with holistic writing rubric.
Depending on what the teacher is assessing, the student will be asked to listen to a group fish-bowl discussion, a guest speaker, a student speaker, a radio/television/taped program, or directions. The quality of listening can be determined by a listening checklist, a Likert scale, or an applause meter.
Students organize in teams to debate a moot question arising from literary text(s). The debate can be structured formally with two teams of two students arguing affirmative and negative sides, or the format can be modified to engage larger groups or the whole class. Students are assessed on their logic, use of relevant evidence, and persuasiveness.
Directions: Antigone Modified Debate
Students choose affirmative or negative positions on the proposition, e.g., in some circumstances, particularly in matters of personal conscience or religion, it is justified to break a law. After selecting students to do the two minute opening statement, rebuttal, and one minute closing statement, the group organizes their arguments and evidence. Part One consists of alternating opening statements and rebuttal; Part Two consists of alternating affirmative and negative arguments by individuals on each side. Particular credit is given by the teacher for new ideas, evidence, and refocusing the discussion on the debate proposition. The debate occurs in front of a panal of judges, the teacher serving as time keeper, moderator of Part Two, and evaluator of individual participation on a checklist. The grade is in two parts: a shared group grade on the effectiveness of the formal statements (opening, rebuttal, closing) and an individual grade based on individual participation. Susan Stitham: Analysis of Literature (10-12), Austin E. Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Students perform or "publish" a product or process in front of a specific audience.
Directions: Choose a favorite poem youve written and read it aloud to the class. You will be assessed by an oral interpretation scoring guide.
Depending on what the teacher is assessing, the teacher or student will select a piece of readingfiction or nonfiction, short or long, easy or difficult. The students could be assessed by miscue analysis or a running record.
Retelling provides information about a students comprehension following his or her reading of text. It enables the evaluator to determine how the student constructs his or her own meanings from the text without direct questioning from the evaluator.Retelling may be analyzed for the following information:
1. Select text for reading. (This can be done by evaluator or student.)
2. Before reading, tell the student that he or she will be retelling the selection after reading.
3. Have student read the text (silently unless a miscue analysis is being done).
4. After student has read the text, ask him or her to put it aside and retell everything he or she can remember. Consider tape recording the telling.
5. Take notes as needed as student retells.
6. When student finishes retelling, ask if there is anything else he or she would like to add.
7. If desired, follow the retelling with guided questioning to elicit more information.
8. Analyze retelling using retelling guide or other tool.
Windows into Literacy. Rhodes and Shanklin, 1993
Discussions involve dialogue between two or more people whereby various aspects of a subject are considered.
An example of using discussion as a form of response to literature is Literature Circles. Literature Circles offer students opportunities to discuss what they have read with others.Directions:
1. Obtain multiple copies of several pieces of literature which will promote meaningful discussion.
2. Introduce pieces to students and let them decide what they will read.
3. Form Literature Circles of four to five students around a common piece.
4. Have students read their pieces and meet to discuss them in their circles, either periodically as they are reading or after they have read entire selection. Various strategies can be used to stimulate discussion such as sharing favorite parts read or raising questions about parts students didnt understand.
5. Ask members of a Literature Circle to present the piece in some form to the rest of the class at the conclusion of their discussion (which could last an average of from two to five days).
6. Consider asking members to keep a Literature Circle Response Log. (See example in following pages.)
A writing sample is a written product which can be in draft or finished form, generated by a teacher or student prompt. It can range in length from a one-sentence response to a multi-paragraph essay to a formal research paper. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose.Directions: You discover a shoebox hidden be- hind a brick in an old house your family just moved into. Write a story about what you found in the box. You will be assessed by your teacher with six-trait analytic rubric.
Students present the product(s) of their work individually or in groups and respond to questions from a panel and/or the class. Directions: Literary Connections Students in small groups determine one major thematic connection among at least three texts, prepare a one-page written summary and an audio/visual exhibition of their findings. The summary is distributed to the whole class in advance of the exhibition. Video, skit, artwork is presented to the class and is followed by questions from a panel of peers and the class. The performance is assessed in three sections: written summary, exhibition, and defense.Susan Stitham: Analysis of Literature (10-12), Austin E. Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Part of the class discusses a topic in a small group in the middle of the room while the rest of the class observes.Directions: Tale of Two Cities Fishbowl
Half the class (the fishbowl) discusses a provocative question (e.g., Is Madame Defarge an unsympathetic character?) for twenty minutes, with each of the rest of the class (the outside circle) assigned to monitor one participant. Following the discussion, each member of the inner circle reports briefly on the main ideas contributed by their inner circle partner. The groups change places and repeats the process with a second provocative question.The teacher records responses on an anecdotal map. (See Assessment Tools below.)
B.J. Craig, Introduction to Literature - Honors (9), Austin E. Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Students may research and deliver a variety of formal speeches, both prepared and extemporaneous. Some conventional types of formal speeches are: exposition, persuasion, storytelling, argumentation, demonstration, and entertainment. The audience of peers, parents, community members, or the teacher can respond on a checklist.Austin E. Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Students use textual evidence in a mock trial format to explore the moral dimensions of a literary character or characters. Note: this task is an excellent method for involving reluctant readers deeply in the text itself.Directions: Trial of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth: the issue is moral responsibility. Students choose to join the Macbeth or Lady Macbeth defense team and assemble evidence from the text to support their position. They then select a student to serve as their lead attorney, who can both question and cross-examine witnesses and identify witnesses to call, assigning members of their team to play those parts. The trial proceeds in front of a panel of outsiders, (e.g., administrators or parents), one of whom serves as judge, who delivers a verdict on the persuasiveness of each side. The teacher can assess individual student performance with a checklist.
Susan Stitham: Classics ( remedial 12), Austin E. Lathrop High School, Fairbanks
Journals and logs, along with letters and diaries, are oral or written records of a students inner dialogue. The basic tool is a regular chronicle of the opinions and events which allows the writer to reflect on a variety of experiences, including reading, viewing, and their own lives. Journals and logs are not intended to be a critical analysis or research report, but a chance to bring to the surface thoughts, impressions, or feelings that might otherwise not emerge. Since they allow the student to process experience in very personal and intimate ways, journals and logs require sensitive teachers, a safe environment, and careful structuring to make sure that they are a legitimate and integral part of the learning process.
Daily or weekly journal writing increases the fluency of writing. Journals help students become more comfortable because they write without the consequence of correction. Since fluency is a goal of journal writing, it is suggested that journals not be graded but recognized in some other way for individual effort. Journal writing may include a topic that the teacher selects or that the student picks. It can take the form of a diary entry, autobiographical sketch, learning aid, or idea collection. It may be written or taped. It might be necessary for teachers and students to devise a method for dealing with occasional private entries.Directions:
The perfect... The trouble with...
If I had a choice...
Its not easy being...
Pretend you are a parking meter. What interesting things would you see in one day?
You are the last dinosaur in the world and are about to die. What are you feeling?
Your doorbell rings, and someone has left a package. Inside you find a pair of glasses. When you put them on, you can see into the future. What do you see?
The purpose of a learning log is for students to rehearse their understanding of material and to clarify their knowledge in preparation for further study. Below is an example of a learning log suitable for a wide variety of grades and settings.
|Name||Title of Piece|
|Date(s)||Which part do I feel good about?||What is a struggle or frustration?||What have I learned?||What will I do next?|
Students think back on an experience or text and write their reactions. The reflective log typically provides them an opportunity to extend their initial impressions, make connections with other learning, and think about learning.
|Autumn Self-Portrait||Spring Self Portrait|
What I thought about what I read....what I wondered....what was interesting....
Id like to talk to my group about....Id like to ask them....I wonder....
|My goal for our next discussion is|
Notetaking is creating an oral and/or written record of observations. Recording good notes means developing the art of observation and organizing information in a way that is useful for the notetaker. Useful notes have a theme or purpose which guides organizing the information. These notes may serve as a study guide, but frequently the student must take an additional step (notemaking) before the information is helpful.
Using notes taken from listening and reading, the student continues the process of organizing the information. Typical notemaking strategies are: labeling categories of information, analyzing and synthesizing to create self-questions, adding information from other sources, and using textbook reading techniques on the notes. A good notemaking system (Examples: see Cornell Notes below) includes recording notes, organizing information, making notes for studying, and reviewing (for example, after the test). (For other, more visual forms of notemaking, see the Graphic Organizers which follow.)
Extra-wide margin for
| Type of notes (lecture, text):|
Date:Notes use consistent abbreviations and organizational cues (e.g. dots, hyphens, brackets, etc.).
Graphic organizers are visuals or maps that represent students ability to show the relationship of ideas or information from his/her original thoughts or from some source, such as a book, lecture, discussion, or video. Graphic organizers can be used to classify, compare, and sequence ideas or events, providing a concrete, visual, organized display. The graphic organizer selected depends on the type and organization of information found. Teachers and students can use graphic organizers to activate prior knowledge, organize thought or observations, present information and explain concepts, and assess student learning.
These terms apply to a similar form of organizing information. They are often used as forms of pre-writing activities, enabling students to brainstorm and organize their thoughts prior to writing the first draft of a piece. They are also used to assist students organizing the elements of a piece of literature. Assessment tools that might be used with maps and webs: checklist or Likert Scale
KWL Charts are graphic organizers useful for determining students prior knowledge or experience; identifying what they want to know about a new concept, story, or information to be shared; and then determining what was learned after the lesson has been presented. They might be assessed by self using a class made checklist.
||Theaters in the round They speak funny because its Elizabethan English. These guys do the same stuff we do today. Romance Sex and violence everywhere.|
|Old Man and the Sea||+||+||+||+||+|
|Island of the Blue Dolphin||+||+||+|
COMPLEX TASKS OVER TIME
As a graduation requirement, all seniors must complete a Senior Project, which consists of a formal research paper, a product related to the research, and a speech given before a panel of community experts. Specific rubrics are applied to each of the three components. Seniors must conduct interviews, use community mentors, keep time logs, etc. as part of this year-long process. The culminating event, Senior Boards (when seniors present their speeches), is immediately preceded by Senior Showcase, a reception for the entire community to honor the senior's efforts.Some past examples of Senior Projects at Sitka High School include
Senior Projects are assessed with the 6-trait analytical writing rubric applied by the teacher, a product evaluation filled out by the mentor and the senior, and an oral presentation rubric filled out by the panel of experts.
Gayle Hammons, Sitka High School
"A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work that exhibits to the students and others the student's efforts, progress, or achievement in given areas. This collection must include student participation in selection of portfolio content, the criteria for selection, evidence of student self-reflections."
Northwest Evaluation Association, 1990
A kindergarten portfolio may include drawings, self-portrait, language experiences (dictations of stories) from beginning to end of year, self-evaluations, teacher anecdotal records/observations, 3 Stars and a Wish, etc. Various assessment tools may be used.Kara Knox and Meredith Guhl, Mt. Edgecumbe Elementary School, Sitka
RITES OF PASSAGE EXPERIENCES (ROPE)
The focus of ROPE is on independent learning and connecting academic skills to real life experiences. ROPE requires eighth grade students individually to design and complete an in-depth project. It provides an opportunity for the students to use the skills and knowledge acquired during their middle school years in a meaningful, culminating set of experiences.
KNOT 1 Select an area of very strong interest.(For further information, see the Reference Kit.)
You must share these elements of your project:
These include the assessment tools that have been used traditionally in schools: true-false, matching, completion items, essays, justified multiple choice.
Directions: The Iliad by Homer
At your tables, discuss each of the following questions. Then divide the questions among you, and each of you write a response for one question. You may draw on the knowledge of your table partners, but each questions final written answer is the responsibility of the person who "volunteers" to answer it. You will be graded using these rubrics: group participation and written essay.
1. The Iliad focuses on the behavior of warriors in times of crisis and examines what each person owes to him or herself and to the community. What does each of the following characters owe to himself and to others? a) Agamemnon, b) Achilles, c) Patroclus, d) Hector, and e)Paris
2. In The Iliad, is it true that a persons reputation is worth more than wealth and power? If so, is this still true today? Why or why not? Explain.
3. Why does Homer choose an argument over a woman as the cause of a tragic quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles? Does it matter what actually causes the quarrel? Explain.
4. Why does Achilles refuse to fight for the Greeks when Agamemnon takes Briseisūlove of Briseis? honor? pride? Defend your opinion.Adapted from World Mythology
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
1. Who is Miss Havisham?
2. What is Estellas first impression of Pip? And Pips of her?
3. What are your first impressions of Miss Havishams house?
4. Just Pips look at Miss Havisham and her strange surroundings can reveal much about her character and her story.What can YOU discern?
5. Why is her demand for Pip to "Play!" so disconcerting?
6. Pip says he feels ashamed of who and what he is&emdash;why? Knowing his life circumstances, what could you tell him to make him feel better?Gayle Hammons, Sitka High School
Readings: "Snows of Kilimanjaro," "Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea
What is Hemingways view of womens role in society? Is his view accurate today for society at large? for you? Remember to defend your response with examples from the class readings and from contemporary society.Gayle Hammons, Sitka High School
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Last modified on: Mon, Jun 17, 1996.