Tuesday 17 April 2012

Practical Applications in Formal Assessments-Science 9

Tim Haberstock decided to try adding a practical hands-on component to his unit test in Science 9. One section of the test required students to demonstrate their understanding of circuits by building an actual circuit. 4 students at a time came up to the stations at the front of the room while the rest of the class worked on the written sections of the exam.

Tim's primary concern was that it might not be possible to rotate all the students through the stations before the end of the test. The last group ended up finishing just as the block was over. Tim's goal is to now add at least one practical/hands-on component to each of his formal assessments.

Some observations he had:

  • Students who had difficulty with written response, (but understood the concepts) were able to accurately demonstrate their understanding
  • He was able to circulate through the stations and give students hints if they were completely stuck (so they would at least get partial marks and not a zero on the entire question)
  • Most students benefitted from the opportunity to get up and move around once during the test. It seemed to allow them to focus more for the remainder of the class when they were in their seats
  • Certain students who were very comfortable with explaining the circuits in written form were actually not comfortable with having to get up and actually build a circuit. It pushed them out of their comfort zone and a few of them did not like it. Some students on the other hand absolutely shone in their ability to quickly solve the circuit questions.

Note: Click Here for a related example of a Math assessment using manipulatives. 

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