Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 11, Day 1: Lesson pacing and formative assessments

It feels like I am behind schedule. I'm near the end of the Force and Motion Unit. I'm thinking about two more weeks to finish. One of my colleagues has already finished it an is almost through with the astronomy unit.

A colleague of mine put it to me perfectly, "What's the point of moving on if students aren't getting it?"

That comment reminded me to take a look at my lesson pacing. To slow down and make sure I'm covering material at an appropriate pace. At the NSTA conference last year I attended a session on (in)formative assessment. Many of the teachers said, "I DO LOTS OF LABS BECAUSE THE KIDS LIKE THEM AND I HAVE FEWER BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS...BUT SOME KIDS ARE NOT UNDERSTANDING HOW OR WHY THE LAB FITS INTO WHAT I WANT THEM TO LEARN...THERE IS A DISCONNECT."

I was so happy to hear that comment made. I do that all the time. I hate testing, but formative assessments can be varied in nature and easy or fancy.

So, I am going to slow down today and rest of this week and make sure my students are understanding why we are doing all the labs and I am going to give some short assessments, most likely 2 questions answered on an index card.

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