Assessment

 

To begin the unit assessment, the teacher will need to provide the students with an opportunity to fill out a KWWL chart.  Specific topics should be addressed such as: What do you know about WWII; What things do you know about Pearl Harbor; Describe what you know about the Japanese American internment.  This activity will not only give the teacher information on what the students know, but it will also guide the teachers lessons in being more focused on the students’ wants and needs.  Some of the outlined activities may need to be stretched to encompass the interest of every student.

 

Each activity that has been outlined (four lesson plans) includes their own assessment, as would each lesson if written in such detail.  However, a few assessments that could take place throughout the entire unit are observation, sharing, and portfolio completion.

 

During observation assessments, teachers will be looking specifically at each child and the group interaction.  Is each student taking an active part?  Who is doing the most talking?  Is one person taking upon themselves all the research?  How many students are actually engaged by the provided activity?  Again, the teacher observation should focus on five to seven students a day and should key in on that student’s role in the group and how they interact with others.

 

Sharing can sometimes be difficult for some students, but it will help them in later years.  The classroom needs to be a safe environment where the students can share without fear of ridicule.  As each student is sharing, the teacher needs to pay particular attention to the completeness of the project.  Did the student cover the given subject accurately and comprehensively?  Were they confident and happy with the completion on the project?  Were the other students able to understand and/or identify with the presentation?  By asking these questions, the teacher can see how each student perceived and applied the information.

 

Having each student prepare a unit portfolio is a time consuming but valuable way of assessment.  This type of assessment allows not only the teacher to view and evaluate the students’ work, but the students may also review, reflect, and evaluate.  In addition to reviewing and reflection, the teacher needs to continually check for appropriate completion based on the student’s ability.  Also, each discussion has an activity paired with it that reinforces the topic of the day.  This written (or drawn) activity will give the teacher a chance to go back and see if the students were able to comprehend the lesson.  If the responses are well written (again ability comes into play) and have a clear opinion with back up information, generally the student has been able to pick up what the teacher has put out. 

 

As stated before, each activity has a specific assessment that is tied directly to the lesson objectives.  By following those assessments, the teacher is likely to have a more accurate assessment.  Also, having a “unit assessment” could be a mistake based on the fact that each stage will be different for each child; therefore, multiply types and times of assessment are necessary.