Misconception #1: Informing the students of the learning target by telling them what it is or by writing it on the board is sufficient. The assumption behind this practice is that writing the objective on the board puts the objective inside the students' heads.
Misconception #2: Sharing a rubric with students will ensure they understand the criteria for success. Sharing a rubric with students is a good start, but as with the objective, you need to check for student understanding of what the criteria mean.
Tactics for Avoiding Misconceptions
- Teachers check for understanding by asking for student questions or by asking students to put learning goals in their own words.
- Teachers use directed discussion or warm-up questions.
- Students think-pair-share what they think they will be learning, why it's important, and how it relates to previous learning.
- Kevin, can you tell me one thing about the water cycle you already know? … Jacob, can you tell me one other thing about the water cycle? … Jaden, can you put those two things together so we have a definition of the water cycle?
- Why is it important to know about the water cycle?
- What would a good report on the water cycle look like?
- Donna, what do you think of Matthew's idea about the way to do a picture of the water cycle?
- Students list what they know and want to know.
- Students make planning charts for individual or group work.
- Groups working on water cycle reports plan a week of work, including library research, reading, writing, drawing, editing, and planning a presentation.
- Students use these planning charts to keep track of progress. The teacher uses these planning charts for interim assessment of student progress and for asking questions about what students learn along the way.
- The teacher asks for interim assessments as checkpoints along the way—for example, a list of sources after library day, an outline as the report is planned, a draft as the report is written, a list of students' roles for an oral presentation.
- Students look at good examples and make a list of what makes them good.
- Students look at a range of examples, sort them into quality levels, and write descriptions of the levels that turn into draft rubrics.
- Here are the five best water cycle reports from last year. What do you notice about them?
- Can you organize these things you notice into categories?
- Put these water cycle reports into three piles: Good, OK, and Not Good.
- What makes the Good ones good? How are the OK reports different from the Good ones? From the Not Good ones?
- Students use teacher-made rubrics to assess examples.
- Students rephrase teacher-made rubrics into their own words.
- Students use rubrics to assess their own work and revise.
- Here are some water cycle reports from last year. Discuss with your group how you would evaluate them using this rubric, and why.
- Here is the rubric we will use for your water cycle reports. How would you describe these qualities to another student?
- How do you think your water cycle report measures up on this rubric? Use a highlighter to show the descriptions in the rubric that you think describe your work. Is there anything you want to revise?
Information from this post comes from:
More information about formative assessment can be found in the professional development school on the OCSU Rubicon Atlas site.