Science Fair-A Summative Assessment

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SWBAT present claims and evidence to support their argument.

Big Idea

Making a presentation is an essential, life-long skill. While the most important elements are the student and the content, communicating your ideas is the main purpose of the presentation.

Make Your Presentation

30 minutes

This summative lesson focuses on these two important standards. CCSS.ELA-Literacy SL.6.4 states present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. CCSS.ELA-Literacy SL.6.5 states include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

Making a public presentation takes practice but students can be successful when they follow some important tips. 

Students should:

  • know their topic and be comfortable speaking about it.
  • create a colorful, well-written display board.
  • include images, data, graphs, and other important information on the board.
  • create visual consistency on their display board.

Now, the presentations.

I ask students to set up their display board on their table for all to view. I give students time to participate in a Gallery Walk. A Gallery Walk is an opportunity for students to get up and move around the classroom, read and learn about their peers' project, and interact and ask questions of each other. This is especially effective for middle school (kinesthetic) learners.

As students were viewing their peer's projects, I was assessing student work using a Rubric specifically designed for this project. A well designed Rubric provides clear expectation for student work and clear expectations for grading.

One goal of the learning experience is to involve community members. I wrote a Letter To Community Members and invited them to come into the school and assess student work in a "Science Fair" like set up. As community members were reviewing student work, they used a Rubric to assess and give feedback. Community members spent time asking questions and interacting with students.

Feedback & Reflection

10 minutes

Giving feedback can be tricky, especially with students, so I am cognizant to implement helpful strategies that create a safe, trusting environment. I constantly work to develop an environment of respect and rapport. Remember, to make feedback successful you need to:

  • Be positive
  • Be specific
  • Be immediate
  • Be factual

After I grade each project using the Pond Study Rubric, I return the graded Rubric to each student and have them complete a reflection. I ask students to reflect on their own work on the project using a Student Reflection sheet. This is a processing phase for students where they think about the learning. Each question on this reflection sheet contains a Sentence Frame which will help students with the writing process. This is especially helpful for ELL and Special Education students.

I am also looking for feedback from each student about their peer's performance. I provide a Peer Feedback Form for students to assess the work done by each member of the group. I encourage students to be honest in their assessment and assure them that this information is confidential.

On the Peer Feedback Form I asked students "What did you learn about working in a group that will carry you into your next group experience? 

Some insightful responses include:

I learned that if everyone in a group works together and pitches in, they can make something great because once we brought our materials and wrote everything down, we got rolling and made a good project.

I learned that everyone has great ideas to bring to the project and most people work hard.

I learned that we should divide our work evenly and check the work before we put it on the board, because sometimes we put a paper on the board and it had a mistake, so we had to take it down and redo it.