Reflection: Student Self-Assessment Scientists Classify Things - Section 2: A Classification Mystery


It is important for students to begin to assess their own understandings. If students can express what they do or do not understand about a topic, then as a teacher, I can begin to address those areas that are still unclear. If I do not help students to identify those areas that are confusing, or to say, "here is what I already know about this topic, and be able to elaborate on that," then I am relying only on my own best guess about what students are taking away from what I am teaching.

This lesson is the first time this year that I have moved beyond a group thumbs up for understanding what we have been doing, to an individual assessment. I ask students to fill in a circle with a smiley, straight or frown face for 2 aspects of this lesson. The first is how the group worked together, and the second is did you contribute to the group. 

I have chosen to start with reflecting and self assessing behavioral rather than content areas because behavioral areas are more visual to students. I explained that a smiley face was a yes my group worked well or yes I helped my group. A straight face might mean that my group worked together most of the time, or I helped a little. A frown face might mean that my group did not work well together or I didn't really help my group solve the mystery.

I was pleased that students did not all just put in smiley faces. They were aware of their own contributions to the group and to how well the group worked as a team. 

From here next time I can remind them how not everyone thought the group worked well together and what might we do to make it better next time. 

  Student Self-Assessment: Self Assessment
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Scientists Classify Things

Unit 1: What Do Scientists Do?
Lesson 8 of 14

Objective: SWBAT classify pictures and objects while working cooperatively.

Big Idea: Classification is one way that scientists make sense of the things in our world.

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