When teaching my preservice teachers methods of making quality use of benign textbooks (when they must use them)..I give them a chapter from a middle school History textbook. Benign because…dense text, voiceless, boring….I ask them to read it as groups and then summarize the chapter with hashtags. No rules other than that. Here is one from last semester—can’t wait to see what this semester group does:
The chapter below focused on the Pilgrims.
Here are their hashtags:
#Mayflower #pilstruggs #missingthemotherland #demWampananagos #originalThanksgiving #churnthatbutter #Jesus4life #Squantowho? #workingafarm #wigwams4ever #seriouslongwinter #allinaday #nomoreboattripsplease #Plymouthrockrocks #BFFSquanto #worstcasescenario #thankfulforSquanto #sickonaship #praytheedontkillus #holierthanthou
Results: Well, for starters there is always a whole bunch of laughter and fun. But, they do get it. We ask kids to summarize, summarize, summarize. When it is not so important that they write ample amounts, why not allow some levity and have groups hashtag summarize short texts? They will capture the critical points and their hashtags can launch class discussion.
So much fun in class today as my undergrad preservice teachers created visuals of assessment metaphors. This is an activity I always look forward to as it’s so cool to watch the groups share ideas and create a final visual. The homework task is for each student to come to class with an assessment metaphor. The groups share their individual metaphors and decide on ONE to use and develop into a visual. Metaphorical thinking is high level thinking. If you can create a metaphor and explain your creation, you have true understanding of a concept. The only requirement for the visual was to include the three types of assessment: diagnostic, formative, and summative. The various design components (traditional, alternative, authentic, structured, unstructured, formal, informal) could be worked into their visuals through their choosing. Since this is a Literacy/Middle School course, I encourage students to engage their future students in visual thinking and in group work. The conversations that result in the final visuals are as important as the conceptual understanding. I’m always amazed at the results.
Here are the visuals. I provide the metaphor labels; you can figure out where diagnostic, formative, and summative are located within each.
Tools! Chart paper, and Markers
Assessment is Building a Home
Assessment is Building a Home (neither group knew the other used this metaphor)
Assessment is a Mountain Climb
Assessment is a Camera (and Lens)
Assessment is Creating a Recipe (Cooking)
Bravo Lit 2’ers!!
Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding.
This is also on my twitter feed—excellent stuff on assessment!!! Theory and Practice.