Module 5, Unit 2, Activity 2
Formative assessments are typically embedded into most lessons. Most students do not even realize that an assessment might be taking place because it becomes a natural occurrence. Including students on how they will be assessed also happens to be an efficient way for learners to check to see how well they are understanding and achieving the objective.
The objectives for the three following formative assessments directly relate to understanding the primary roles of the nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cell wall.
The first assessment is part of a daily routine that includes taking notes and summarizing each lesson in concise paragraph. This is also a great opportunity for students to ask further questions or communicate that they need some extra help. Some students may feel embarrassed to ask these questions during the lesson but in their ‘journal’, they tend to feel bolder and less inhibited. It further helps me to identify the success of a particular lesson, modify future lessons and give personal feedback to individual students. Lastly, it helps strengthen the student/teacher relationship.
The second formative assessment uses ‘exit-cards’ that can quickly be applied and adapted for each student’s level of understanding. In many normal classroom settings, students with learning difficulties and/or TAG students might need these’ exit cards’ to be modified to fit their challenge level. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have these cards ready and organized well. Additionally, ‘exit cards’ can be used anytime during the lesson depending on the flow and how they are integrated into the lesson. In my lessons, I like to mix it up so that it’s not so predictable.
The third one : Using a ‘graphic organizer’ seems ‘old-school’ but I find it that it helps the learners grasp ideas in a visual way that utilizes and reinforces and enhances mnemonic skills. In this particular lesson, students will be writing their own descriptions for each role of the nucleus, chloroplasts, mitochondria, cell membrane, and cell wall. In addition, they will draw by hand each illustration or are free to find pictures and then attach the annotated function to each.
This allows the students work at their own level without external pressure that is sometimes associated with summative and uniform assessments. Learners are able to demonstrate to ability to rationalize and comprehend each role within the cell and it’s functions while showing how they achieve this task.