Teachers apply several approaches in instruction practice to gather information concerning their students. Among these strategies are the formative and summative strategies. Combining these approaches is useful in identifying ways of assisting students succeed in school. Besides this, assessments are other useful ways through which teachers can monitor their student learning and offer ongoing feedback that can be useful in improving learning. The main objective of assessment is to evaluate student learning and end the instructional unit through comparison of the understanding of the students against some standard. The two types of assessment strategies I will apply in this study is kinaesthetic activity in the formative strategy and presentation in the summative strategy. I will also include examples of the best practice in science assessment, which are water cycle for the kinaesthetic activity assessment strategy, and the phases of the moon for the presentation assessment strategy that are used and applied in New School Model of ADEC.
The Formative Assessment (Kinaesthetic Activity)
Kinaesthetic activity in formative assessment is a form of student activity that students undertake by moving to demonstrate their understanding of a topic (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall & William, 2003). During the science practical in class as a special educator in my training, I had the opportunity to evaluate grade four students within the science lesson about water cycle. I divided the topic into for lessons. The first lesson, I introduced the topic and defined key words such as evaporation, run-off, and transpiration as according to ADEC (2012). I also drew a picture of the water cycle and colored it on a big white board.
In the second lesson, I explained to the students why water cycle is referred to as a ‘cycle’. In the third lesson, I introduced to students the importance of sun in the water cycle. This lesson allowed me to elaborate further more on evaporation, run-off, and transpiration. During the fourth lesson, I had to make paper words and images in the white board so the students could engage in motions that are more expansive and create enhanced and more complicated representations. Thereafter, the students had the opportunity of cutting and drawing images of the water cycle. Drawing rather than moving within the class was an appropriate way of assessing the students since the space within the class was small for such a given lesson. The main lesson, most of the students mastered was the importance of the sun in the cycle.
My main aim was to assist students understand the role of the sun in the water cycle (ADEC, 2012). By allowing students to create images of the sun and the water movements on the earth, they were able to manipulate things in the environment and hence they could work with the ideas that help the materials stick. The main significance of formative assessment is to collect information concerning student learning. This takes place during the lesson to track the progress of students and makes changes to instruction (Regier, 2012). Kinaesthetic activity as a formative assessment is useful as it allows students to become creative and reinforce the lesson through the activities that involve movement within the class. Students are besides able to cooperate within a team, especially when one of them has grasped the idea and can correctly guide the rest of the team members.
This form of activity is used as a main content in classrooms to furnish teachers with insights into the understanding of their students and misconceptions regarding the concept. Kinaesthetic assessment is a good approach of incorporating movements in the classroom and lowing teachers determining the depth of the learning to inform their decisions. Within this environment, a hand on approach is allowed which allows students to make other discoveries. This strategy is moreover useful to gain the attention of the hyperactive students. As such, the strategy calls for the teacher to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the learners. Kinaesthetic activity allows learners to be very interactive in class as they are allowed to grab and touch objects. Kinaesthetic activities facilitate development of excellent motor skills and memory skills among learners (Regier, 2012). Learners can thus be able to react quickly and make decision without much hesitation. Since learners are free to interact in class, Kinaesthetic activities enable them to develop strong leaders among them who have outgoing personalities. On the other hand, students tend to become restless and difficult at staying on a task. This leads to development of poor listening skills among the learners.
Summative Assessment (Presentation of the Phases of the Moon)
This form of assessment takes place at the end of the lesson to evaluate the mastery of the student on the lesson concepts and skills (Ala-Mutka, 2005). Presentation is the desirable form through which summative assessment is conducted. During my practicum, I had the opportunity of teaching grade four students about the phases of the moon. My main objective was to teach the students how the different phases of the moon in the night sky are produced. I divided this topic into three lessons. During the first lesson, introduced to students the topic and defined to them key words, which included crescent, Full moon, new moon, reflect, phase, and lunar month. During the second lesson, I explained to students the movement of the earth in relation to the position of the moon and the sun. during the third lesson, I explained to the students the significance of the sun as it lights up different amount of the moon as seen from the earth. Thereafter, I allowed students to form groups of five to come up with a presentation on the phases of the moon. The main presentations were to emphasize the fact that moon is not a source of light, describe the phases as seen from the earth, and explain why we do have phases of the moon.
The main goal of this assessment was to assess the learning of the students at the end of the instructional unit (Huhta, 2010). This implies that every group had to obtain a high score based on the work they had presented. This assessment was more useful to me as an instructor to gauge my efforts in teaching the topic. To the learners, this form of assessment is useful in helping them cram ideas that are necessary to pass the exams and not necessarily applicable in real life situations. Summative assessment is therefore a useful to the strategic learners who desire to pass the tests and forget quickly whatever they have learnt.
From the results, it was easier for me to note what the students knew and which concept they failed to grasp (Huhta, 2010). As part of the grading process, summative assessment is useful in making instructional adjustments and interventions during learning. As a teacher, I am able to collect information regarding students on several categories and make a critical conclusion concerning understanding level. I am able to consider the form of communication applied and make possible readjustments in topics with similar complexities.
One thing I have come to appreciate is the fact that assessment and instruction go hand in hand within a classroom setup. As a teacher, I am able to apply a variety of strategies to assess student preparedness for a particular lesson. I am besides able to plan their instruction within their needs as they demonstrate their understanding. Continuous assessment of student learning is therefore a significant component in planning process. Furthermore, assessment is useful in determining the success of applying the goals. it therefore affects instructional needs, and decisions regarding grades. As a teacher, both formative and summative assessments are useful in evaluating what is working for the students, how I can offer more assistance to the students and in what direction I should follow next.