Henry, that is a great challenge and it is exciting when you do something that is hands on and the students rise to the challenge. Depending on what we are studying, I come up with at least 3 choices of ways students can present what they know. If we are learning about biomes, students have the choice to make a powerpoint, a diorama, poster, poem, short video etc. I use rubrics and give them the rubric in advance along with the guidelines of when it is due, what materials can be used, and offering them support where needed. The first time we do this during the year, I walk them through the research, how to narrow down the information to glean what is needed, we discuss what plagiarism is and why we do NOT copy others' work. As students present what they created, other students write down essential information so that the presenter can ask questions of the audience afterwards.
I'm always looking for the moment when students get stuck and watch to see how they handle the situation before asking for help.
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Using Formative and Alternative Assessments Using Formative and Alternative Assessments 1 6 SCIENCE SCOPE How many of us assess our students only summatively, using these assessments to assign grades? I know I did. And while I continue to employ the traditional chapter test as a summative assessment, it is only one of a variety of ways I evaluate student learning and assign grades. This article describes how I use homework, “three quick questions,” trivia questions, pretests, and practice tests to formatively assess student knowledge and direct instruction. Additionally, alternative assessments and a science-project paper are means by which students demonstrate mastery of skills not easily assessed by traditional objective tests. Using Formative and Alternative Assessments to Support Instruction and Measure Student Learning by Tricia Britton
List of possible products for alternative assessment assignment (Campbell, Campbell, and Dickinson 2003)
Examine the list below. You have many options to choose from to demonstrate your knowledge. If you think of something different, please discuss it with me. Use the study guide for key ideas and vocabulary that should be included in the project. Let me know what you choose to do. Attached is a rubric I will use to evaluate your product. Be creative! Let your intelligence shine! • Write lyrics for a familiar tune. • Express concepts musically and explain the connection between the instrument (or musical pieces) and the content. • Design a web page. • Make a flowchart and be prepared to explain it. • Create a concept map/web. • Make a brochure. • Write a story. • Create a PowerPoint presentation. • Make a 3-D model. • Write a newspaper article or news broadcast. • Write a play and act it out. • Record a video. • Make your own test with answer key (you will need lots of questions). • Construct a mobile. • Write an essay. • Make a collage. • Design a poster. • Make a painting. • Record an audio tape. • Write a speech. • Give a lecture. • Write a poem.