Doubling Up – Days 5 & 6
Well, with the MLK Jr. Holiday, me taking off due to moving, and the surprise snowstorm here in the Northeast, I missed a few days. So I’m doubling up on the Blogging Challenge today. The two topics I’m combining are Assessment and Something You Wish You Could Improve. Because for me, assessment is one of the things I wish I could do better!
It’s hard to assess technology prowess. I can assign content based lessons, but then sometimes the results show a deficiency in reading, writing, or the content area, not necessarily the technology. Sometimes it takes certain students longer to complete a project, so their grade reflects the incompleteness. But what if they were taking longer because they were putting in more effort along the way and that’s why they didn’t finish? These are just a few of the issues I struggle with when assessing.
One thing I am sure of is that one-size-fits-all assessment does not work. I’ve found that through years of trying to assign the same lesson to everyone on the same day and have everyone finish at the same time. Not happening. Some students are done early and then want to have free play time, some finish just as the class is over and get no reward for their hard work, and some never finish! I am working on transforming my curriculum into a more self directed type of learning, at least for my middle schoolers. My goal is to provide lessons that they can access on-demand, via screencasts, and then they can work on the lesson material at their own pace. I’m fascinated with Gamification, or making learning more like “leveling up” in a video game. I think the students would really enjoy this, but would they put in the effort to really learn, or just do the minimum to get by? The only way I can find out is to try. I’ll be working on planning this out to put it into place for at least one grade level next school year (with perhaps a pilot for the end of this school year if I can get it ready). Stay tuned for more information on that as I work on it!