Reflection: Unit Exams Time Midway Assessment - Section 1: Opener


It is worthwhile to repeatedly explain the purpose of assessments to students.  Despite our shift away from letter grades, my third graders still hold on to traditional beliefs about grades.

Teacher: "Why do I give you assessments?  Tests, quizzes..."

Student: "To give us a grade."

Teacher: "What is a grade?"

Student:  "An A or a B or a 4 or a 5."

Teacher: "Why would tests be marked with a grade or a number?"

Student: "So we know if we did good."

Teacher: "Well.  What does it mean to do well?"

Student:  "It means you get, like, an A or a B or a 4 or a 5."

Teacher: "What does a 4 mean?"

Student: "That I did good.  Well."

Teacher: "What does that mean?"

It's like a comedy routine.  These conversations just keep cycling around.  By the end of the year, if not earlier, I want students to understand that tests are what I use to guide my instruction.  If students know something, I will not keep teaching them something they've already mastered.  

Also, it alerts me to specific details of what I need to teach and reteach.  Tests and quizzes are also an objective way for them to develop an understanding of their ability to apply a concept or skill without any assistance.  This is all part of developing that critical ability to think about their own thinking and to become more aware and self-directed learners.

  Helping Students Understand the Purpose of Assessments
  Unit Exams: Helping Students Understand the Purpose of Assessments
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Time Midway Assessment

Unit 6: Time
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: SWBAT express what they understand, how they have grown, and areas in which they still feel that they need more practice.

Big Idea: Periodic checks are an important tool for directing further instruction and differentiation.

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4 teachers like this lesson
Math, Number Sense and Operations, telling time, elapsed time, time, assessment
  75 minutes
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