How well do your assessments match the verbs in your state standards? Does your grade level test according to what is included in a text book or what students are expected to know at the end of the year?
Multiple choice questions are a great way to identify if a student can identify something or recall a fact, but what about when a student needs to explain something? What about when they need to explain something in depth?
Creation apps allow students to create, compare, illustrate, and yes EXPLAIN. As my class moves through a unit, they complete projects. These projects allow all stakeholders to understand what the child understands. When a parent is confused about a student’s grade in a specific subject, I can pull up the child’s projects and our standards. It’s easy to see if a child is or is not successful with 4th grade skills.
4.NSF.1 Explain why a fraction (i.e., denominators 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 25, 100), 𝑎 𝑏 , is equivalent to a fraction, 𝑛×𝑎 𝑛×𝑏 , by using visual fraction models, with attention to how the number and size of the parts differ even though the two fractions themselves are the same size. Use this principle to recognize and generate equivalent fractions.
Above is a 4th grade standard in math. Although our 4th grade fraction unit test allows a grade to be created and covers many fractions skills, it does not allow students to manipulate visual fraction models. Below, is a project I assigned to students to more clearly gauge their understanding of fractions.
With Explain Everything and Virtual Manipulatives, students were able to honestly achieve our state standard. At the end of the unit students completed unit tests on Socrative and submitted their projects into Showbie. Below, is one of my student’s fraction projects.
Projects allow students to truly showcase what they have grasped from the units being taught in classrooms. They give great evidence to what skills are mastered and which are not. Look at your state standards. Highlight the verbs. Think to yourself, “How closely can I align my class grades and assessments with learning standards?”