Reflection: Checks for Understanding Short Cycle Assessment: Checking for Understanding - Section 1: Short Cycle Assessment: Checking for Understanding


Short cycle assessments are necessary to track student achievement.  We may not always be happy with the results- like how I feel right now- but they must be administered and analyzed. In giving this short cycle, I was sure my students would make terrific progress.  That didn't happen.  In fact, my students made very little progress and some of the students who had scored in the proficient range on the pretest actually went down!!

As much I've taught about character traits, as much as we've practiced character traits- the magic did not happen!!  My students are still having trouble identifying character traits.  In fact, after close analysis of the data, they are actually having trouble keeping straight the difference between feelings, physical characteristics and personality traits.  What's a teacher to do?

One thing I did to help students understand was each time we lined up to go somewhere, I called on one person at a time to give a character trait of a teacher in the building.  (I didn't let them give traits about kids because I didn't want any negative comments made.)  If a kiddo couldn't give a character trait, I skipped them and called on someone else.  If they gave me physical trait, I passed them and called on someone else.  I kept this up until I got all my kiddos in line.  Toward the end, I did have to give hints and help, but this activity seemed to make a difference and took very little class time.  

Another thing I did during some down time was to tape an index card to each student's back and had them Mix Pair Share (Kagan and Kagan, 2009) to music.  Each time the music stopped and they paired, each partner wrote a character trait (positive only) on the other's back.  We had time to do this three or four times.  The last Mix Pair Share had each partner review the traits on their partner's back to make sure they were all personality traits and not physical traits. This activity also seemed to help students understand the concept of character traits and hopefully we can move on to text characters with success!!

  Reflection: Assessment Results
  Checks for Understanding: Reflection: Assessment Results
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Short Cycle Assessment: Checking for Understanding

Unit 13: Let It Snow!! Analyzing Snowflake Bentley
Lesson 6 of 13

Objective: SWBAT independently read a passage and identify character traits and corresponding evidence from the text.

Big Idea: Understanding a character and their traits lays the foundation for understanding fiction and all of its elements.

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