Island of the Blue Dolphins: Performance Task

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SWBAT synthesize information learned throughout a unit to demonstrate mastery of standards.

Big Idea

How do you best show mastery? You choose!

Cue Set

15 minutes

Today is the first day of our performance task for our entire unit on Island of the Blue Dolphins and Animal Encounters.  Scholars complete a performance task at the end of each unit.  However, it is still important to remind scholars what performance tasks are and why they are important.  Therefore, we watch a video on scholars who are completing a performance task.  

Then, scholars ask themselves, "What is a performance task and why is it important?"  Scholars have 1 minute to jot down their thinking, then we take 2 volunteers and 2 friends from my cup to explain their thoughts.  This helps invest scholars in completing the performance task.  Also, it helps to remind them that a performance task is a fantastic opportunity to show what you know in a  way that is non-traditional (i.e. test).  Scholars have the opportunity to be creative and highlight their own special talents.  Here is one scholar's response to Cue Set.  Also, here is a scholar responding to the Cue Set.  

Teaching Strategy

20 minutes

During the teaching strategy, scholars review the Island of the Blue Dolphins performance task description with their table groups.  They discuss the following questions:  1. What are you responsible for doing?  2. When will you do it?  3.  When is it due by? They have 5 minutes to read and discuss.  Then, they have 5 minutes to ask me any clarifying questions (this can go longer if needed).  

Finally, scholars select the items that they will include in their performance task.  I have a variety of materials that are on the back brown table, and I call tables one at a time to select the materials they need to begin their work.  


Independent Practice

55 minutes

During the independent practice, scholars actually begin to work on their performance task.  I pull scholars and give them their end-of-quarter IRI (reading assessment).  Click here for an IRI overview. My ELL co-teacher pulls a cohort of students to give them their accommodations as they complete the performance task.  Their task is modified as well - they pick two items to complete.  

It is important that scholars work independently on the performance task because this is meant to show mastery of multiple standards that we targeted throughout the course of the unit.  Therefore, the expectation is that the room is silent (just like we're taking a test).  However, due to the task-like nature of the assessment, scholars can get up and move about the room to access supplies, etc.  

Here is a great video of scholars hard at work during the Performance Task.