Saturday, April 11, 2009

Report Cards

Report cards are an official means of reporting student progress. Report cards evaluate behavior and academics.

I used to always look forward to report card day, however I think that report cards give some parents an excuse to not really be involved in their child's schooling. They only worry about it when report cards come around. They will start to be concerned after the first report card is sent home.

I like that report cards have space for the teacher's comments and I also like that schools require parents to sign the report cards to signify that the parent has seen it. In addition, parent teacher conferences are held after report cards are sent home, I think this makes perfect sense and report cards are extremely beneficial to students and parents.

Standardized Tests

I just finished watching the video "Not on the Test" and I completely agree with it, the video is kind of a joke but the issue really isn't funny. There are many teachable moments that have to be passed by at times because teachers need to get certain things done. I realize that testing is important, but the children really do miss out on lots of other important things because of it. I've definitely had times in a classroom when a classmate would ask a question unrelated to what the class was studying for a standardized test and the teacher would say we'd go back and answer at the end but we never got around to it.

I think standardized testing is really unfair because students don't all learn at the same pace, so some students don't learn all of the information and the students who do, don't always get the opportunity to go on and learn more because they are waiting for the rest of the class.

Students need to learn things that will help them in the future and in life and I don't believe standardized testing assists children with their futures. It puts too much pressure on the school, the teachers, and the students.

Essay Tests/ Multiple Choice Tests

Essay tests are a form of constructed response tests. According to the textbook, "what is perhaps unique about the essay format is that it offers students the opportunity to display their abilities tow rite about, to organize, to express, and to explain interrelationships among ideas." Essays can be restricted response or extended response.

I personally do not like essays, I don't think that an essay really proves how much someone knows about a certain topic. I think it is important for students to know how to organize ideas into an essay format, but that in my opinion is the only reason for an essay. In my experiences, essays are just recited information, especially on tests. Many teachers will tell students the essay that is going to be on a test, so the student goes home, prepares an essay and has to remember it during test time and rewrite it.

In other cases, the students read a passage and are told to write an essay on ideas presented in the passage. I think this is unfair because the student doesn't really have time to organize ideas properly.

Multiple Choice Tests I find to be more fair than essay tests, with multiple choice there is an equal chance for every student. All students might not be on the same writing level when writing essays. Also, with multiple choice even with guessing, there is a chance of getting the question correct. It is harder to guess on an essay and still be correct.


"A portfolio is a limited collection of a student's work used either to present the student's best work or to demonstrate the student's educational growth over a given time, on one or a set of learning targets. Items included in a portfolio are carefully selected so the collection as a whole accomplishes its purpose. The two kinds of portfolios are best works portfolios and growth and learning-progress portfolios.

During my sophomore field experience, I observed a teacher who was in the middle of helping her students with their goal sheets, the students assess their own work and write down what they believe needs to improve. The teacher then puts the students' goal sheets in their portfolios. Each portfolio has a goal sheet.

The week that I observed the class, they were learning how to write a letter properly, the letters were to President Obama. The students had the opportunity to revise the letters twice as they continued to review their grammar and spelling. All three versions of the letter were put into their portfolios. The teacher explained to me that the point of the assignment was for the students to self-assess their work.

The portfolios also contain the students' work in other subjects, the students are able to see how much they have progressed in each area.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Teacher Expectations

Teacher expectations refer to inferences that teachers make about the future academic achievement of students. The teacher creates the learning target and decides where the child should be at the end of the assignment, at the end of a unit, or at the end of a marking period. The teacher can therefore expect the students to reach a certain point in learning, only if the learning targets are clear to the students.

I believe that teachers who expect high achievement from their students will have better results than teachers who have low expectations because the students will feel motivated to meet the teacher's expectations as long as they aren't unreachable. All objective and goals must be explained and the students need to know how to assess their own work.


There are many different types of formative assessment techniques, they include oral questioning, informal observation, quizzes, homework and classwork. All formative assessment is used to give the teacher information on where a child stands and how they can improve. Portfolios are also classified as formative assessment because they contain a child's work from then to now.

Homework is one method of formative assessment. "Homework provides formative information about how learning is progressing, it allows errors to be diagnosed and corrected, and it combines practice, reinforcement, and assessment." Homework doesn't put students on the spot in front of the rest of the class. Homework is an indirect way to judge how much progress a student is making as they learn in the classroom.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


After using rubistar to help me create my own rubric, I've discovered that Rubistar is a wonderful tool to teachers! I can see how it would be a time and energy saver because you wouldn't have to make a rubric from scratch. If you want to change, add or remove the criteria for any of the categories you have that ability. The site is free and gives teachers rubrics based on topics in each academic subject. Using Rubistar, teachers can create their own rubrics or they can search for rubrics created by other teachers.

I used Rubistar to make my rubric entitled, "Oral Presentation Rubric: 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'". The categories I chose to compose my rubric are pitch, speaks clearly, attire, listens to others presentations, preparedness, and collaboration with peers. The rubric is based on a lesson plan I made for Teaching Language Arts, it is a reading lesson. As an activity the students work in groups to act out "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". I like that by using Rubistar I was able to customize the rubric to adjust it to my liking. The rubric was generally more for an oral presentation and not necessarily a play, but with Rubistar I changed the rubric to be based on a performance viewed by the class.