Reflection: Continuous Assessment Spider Power! - Exploring a Spider's Web - Section 4: Wrap Up


I gave careful thought to the assessment piece of this lesson.  When I first began teaching, a veteran colleague told me “You need to balance curriculum related assessments with parent pleasing projects”.  Basically, she meant we need (sometimes) to relate our assessment to knowledge that can be seen and felt in a form that parents can both easily understand and display.  In fact, I will often give myself what I call the 'refrigerator test'.  By that, I mean that I visualize how the project will look displayed on the family refrigerator.  Somewhat shallow?  Probably, though we all know that knowledge shared to create a tangible product often deepens it in ways that makes it more concrete.  And our reality is that, along with students, parents are also our customers so we need to serve them as well.  We need to be able to show them the fruits of the lesson in a way that is authentic.  The assessment can be both connected to the material we taught and interesting to the students..and the parents.  This spider web design project works as a continuous assessment because it can change as additional information is processed.  When the students know how to adjust designs like this, then we know they have correctly absorbed the lesson.  The good news is that while we give both parents and students what they want, we also have an opportunity to teach them more about 'process over product', that often the value of the lesson is in the learning..for everyone.

  Perspective, Product, Practice
  Continuous Assessment: Perspective, Product, Practice
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Spider Power! - Exploring a Spider's Web

Unit 5: Awesome Animals
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: Students will use a diagram to identify elements of a spider web.

Big Idea: What makes a spider's habitat different from other animals?

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