The paths to "Eureka" moments: Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Education

Archive for the ‘P3’ Category

Practicing Standards-based Assessment

P-3 Practice standards-based assessment. 

Teacher-candidates use standards-based assessment that is systematically analyzed using multiple formative, summative, and self-assessment strategies to monitor and improve instruction. As a teacher, I use inquiry-based formative assessment as well as quizzes in the midst of units to determine student readiness levels. Using  the data and feedback to inform my instruction,  I am able to create lessons that target the standards based content in which students struggle. 

The following quiz was given to a class of 8th grade algebra students to assess their understanding of recursive sequences.

The standard specifically addressed was:

A1.7.C Express arithmetic and geometric sequences in both explicit and recursive forms, translate between the two forms, explain how rate of change is represented in each form, and use the forms to find specific terms in the sequence.

After reviewing the quizzes and discovering areas where students struggled through student inquiry and exit tickets, I was able to plan several lessons of review using different methodologies of teaching (see previous post: LINK for specific lesson). The three sample quizzes are representative of the spread of achievement in the class.  Student A demonstrated mastery of the subject in the first quiz and was challenged with more difficult problems in following lessons. Student B was not proficient in the quiz content, but demonstrated good problem solving techniques. And Student C struggled with the content in the initial quiz.

Attached are both quiz results: Student A Student B Student C

After teaching these lessons where we reviewed definitions, examples, and worked collaboratively to expand our learning, a second quiz was given.

The results of the second quiz compared to that of the first, demonstrate the success of intentional planning for specific topics of instruction. As evidenced by the three examples of student work, students were able to better communicate their analysis of the sequences and summarize their understanding of recursive equations. Student A continued to demonstrate mastery, Student B demonstrated proficiency, and Student C made the largest leap in academic achievement by demonstrating mastery.

Through this experience, I learned that lessons are effective when taught based student need. If I had not quizzed the students at the beginning of the week, I would not have been able to tailor my instruction to their needs, but would have perhaps taught concepts they had a firm grasp of, while neglecting areas they may have struggled in.

Students also benefit from inquiry and planning for instruction. On the one hand, students are able to see their academic progress which will motivate for future learning. Additionally, class time is spent learning and growing in areas where students are not proficient. This creates an efficient learning time without reviewing topics students have already mastered.

As demonstrated by the above evidence, I practice standards-based assessment through regular formative assessments (inquiry based observation and quizzes) and timely summative assessments.

TI: Informed by Standards Based Assessment (Philosophy of Assessment)

Assessment Philosophy

Assessment models, feedback, great teaching, and differentiation each help motivate students to learn.

Assessment models provide standards for both students and teachers to live up to. This provides structure and consistency on which students can depend for feedback on their progress.

Feedback is a tool by which teachers can convey student success and area of improvement. Using this tool correctly can challenge students and provide them with opportunities for learning.

In order to properly utilize the tool of “Feedback” one must implement great teaching techniques. If used inappropriately, a student’s self-esteem, motivation, and ability perception can be harmed.

It is for this reason that teachers must implement differentiation in the classroom. Not all students are the same. They differ in learning styles, personality types, and in ways of communicating. Thus, great teachers must strive to provide multiple methods of assessment so as to effectively chart their learning, and provide future challenges.

Showcase Lesson Plan – Functions as Literal Equations

As a result of the conclusion to my first quarter in the Education Program at Seattle Pacific University, I have completed my first showcase lesson plan!

Please view it, and give me your feedback!

Attached are four documents which make up a showcase lesson plan centered around a lesson titled: Functions as Literal Equations.

The documents are as follows:

1) Unit Plan Alg1

2) csc function lesson

3) Functions as a Machine of Literal Equations Rational

4) Function Lesson