The Project In our 5th grade classroom the district was working on re-designing the science program. At the school I was at the studentsscience scores have been consecutively low. In our class we weremaking sure our lessons were molded around the Montana StateStandards, not the textbook. It was a lot of work to create thiscurriculum from often times scratch, but the students understandingsand excitement proved rewarding. These samples provided are from a final project wecompleted after a unit on ecosystems. This was a large projectcreated in place of a formal test. The students enjoyed the projectand the results were truly amazing. A project is a challenge to createclear expectations for, and to consistently assess all students. Thisis why I have chosen samples from this project to reflect myunderstanding of assessment.
Starting the Project To start our project I handed out guidelines to the students. Iprovided the students with three pieces of paper. The first page was theassignment. I told them to take it home and show it to their parents. Thesecond page was a check list for students to check off as they completedparts of their project. The third page was a drafting ideas page. The drafting ideas page was a graphic organizer to help studentswhen they researched. If the students filled out everything on the draftingideas page then they would have all the information they needed to starttheir project. This also provided me with the opportunity to check offstudents drafting page to decide who was ready to start on the poster ordiorama part of the assignment. I did not formally grade the drafting page.If they were finished they could go on to another task. If they were not, ortheir were many errors I worked with the students to complete the page.
FIRST PAGE This is the page that I read with students and sent home with them on the first day
THIRD PAGEThis page was apass failassessment type.If the studentswere not donewith this, or if theinformation wasinaccurate I couldsee where theyneededassistance. Icould also provideideas. Once thestudentscompleted thisthey would moveon to creatingposters, andessay questions.
Assessment of “Drafting” An example of a student that completed the drafting was a group doing an ocean ecosystem. The had answered all the blanks of the drafting accurately. They included over four populations, and correctly drafted the food chain in their ecosystem. The part that most students struggled with was a symbiotic relationship. This group found this relationship between a whale and barnacles by researching the topic online. They stated the correct relationship and they were able to move on. An example of a group that needed extra help was one that did a Montana ecosystem. The accurately stated four populations, and their food chain. The area they struggled with was the symbiotic relationship. The did not plan their ecosystem with populations that had a symbiotic relationship and they wrote down, “Deer eating elk sedge,” as a parasite symbiotic relationship. I worked with this group and we added a tick population to their ecosystem. This gave me the opportunity to tell them that was a herbivore producer relationship, and it dealt with interdependence not symbiosis.
THE RUBRICI handed this out the second day of ourassignment, read it aloud, and told students Iwould use this to grade their projects.
Project 1 Assessment These two students received a score of 33/44 giving them an 83% on the overall project. The overall poster was great, and the questions were answered neatly, but they forgot to answer question 6. They also did not show a full understanding of a niche. They stated one, but not others in their community.. They showed a good understanding of interdependence, ecosystem, and environment.
PROJECT 2These students did their project on anAntarctic ecosystem.
Project 2 Assessment These students showed an outstanding understanding of the concepts. They received a 40/40 or a 100%. The answers were neatly typed, well organized, and thoughtful. They show their understanding of ecosystem by typing up living an non living things in their ecosystem. They also gave great examples of a niche, and symbiosis. Throughout the project these were the most difficult for students to explain in their written responses. The poster was also neatly done, and well organized.
PROJECT 3This is boy did his an Alaskan Ecosystem. There are also some other ecosystem projects displayed
Project 3 Assessment This student received a score of 36/40 or a 90%. The project was well organized and neatly done. He also did a fantastic job restating his answers. I liked that it was typed up. He missed a couple points by adding in the wrong vocabulary word. For example he wrote ecosystem instead of environment. He also lost two points on diversity. He shows some understanding of diversity, but it is not articulated well. Overall he shows great understanding of our science concepts, and it really reflects in his responses.
PROJECT 4These two boys chose an Antarctic oceanecosystem.
Project 4 Assessment These two boys received a 44/40 or a 110% on their project. The students were told they could receive up to four extra credit points for doing a diorama. These students made their arctic sea creatures with play dough. Then they painted them. They spent a lot of time in their answers and on the appearance of the project. Many students enjoyed this aspect of the assignment, but for those that were not artistic, a poster was required. There answers were thoughtful and organized. They researched their topics. The response shows a strong understanding of difficult concepts such as niche and symbiosis.
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