Thinking about Thinking

With the shift to Common Core and Performance Assessment the emphasis on understanding student thinking has found a place in student assessment and achievement in mathematics.  Understanding how students think is key to not only giving our students support in the classroom but shaping their beliefs in how they perceive their intelligence.

http://www.movieweb.com/tv/TEbe2cgisvf5df/HUqfiwtq8TRxtz

What role do you see assessment being played in the classroom? Does understanding how students think help you prepare for your role as a teacher?  How will you use this information to shape your practice?

16 comments:

  1. We place a lot of value on student understanding however, the only thing that seems to be validated by the school, state, government, etc. is standardized testing. In this way we are placing the value in procedural accuracy and not necessarily on understanding. In the video we see the teacher trying to put the students at ease, telling them in a very sarcastic way that they should remain calm. She tells them the test does not count for anything other than their future. Zach brought up in another one of our classes that a lot of times students don't even understand the implications of standardized testing. They can not vote and yet the amount of funding a school receives and the way in which it will be viewed is almost entirely dependent on how they score on a given test. If students are not good at this type of testing what does this tell the student? Does it really mean that because you are not good at timed, multiple choice, reading based testing that you are not good at a particular subject? I think that we should have other ways of assessing student understanding.

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    1. Yeah i agree about the standardized testing. We have gone over and over how,especially with math, there are so many way to represent and show understanding. However, state testing only relies on one aspect. It is an unfair way to test for understanding.

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    2. I certainly agree that we should assess students in other ways such as using projects or presentations. Those are some alternative ways that I find to work in our educational system the way it is set up today. Multiple choice questions do not give us a lot of information about the students way of thinking. As a teacher, I would not be able to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a student from looking at the standardize test results.
      Unfortunately, I do not think we are going to escape from multiple choice. It will remain the most widely used type of test to assess students.

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    3. Yes I agree that we need to look at multiple measures when it comes to assessment. A single snapshot is not an accurate picture nor does it take into account diverse learners and the anxiety and angst some students feel when it comes to standardized tests. One of the good things that has come from the standardized test is identifying the inequalities that exist at school sites. When I was at LAUSD schools within the same district would have such varied differences in resources yet everyone is accountable to the same test. With Title One funding that has changed and we recognize that those who have less need more.

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  2. I see assessment as a progress report that lets students know what their strengths and weaknesses are. The assessment must be clear and concise for students and for the teacher. The role of assessing students through quizzes, tests, projects, posters, and summaries give a lot of information for teachers to work with. By analyzing students' work, the teacher is able to physically see what students know and do not know. Teachers are able to prepare lesson plans based off these results. For example, if students are not doing so good in algebraic thinking, then the teacher might want to review algebraic thinking the next day.

    As a teacher, I have to constantly assess my students because I want to get a sense of where they are in the classroom that way I can tackle the problem right then and there instead of letting the students fall behind and behind again.

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    1. I agree that assessment is a form of progress report to see where the students are at. And by doing so, the teachers will know more about the students progress. Thus, the teacher will be able to teach what the students need.

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    2. I agree that the right type of assessment can definitely be beneficial for students and teachers alike. I think the crucial aspect, which you mentioned, is giving the students meaningful feedback. What does this then say about standardized testing? They are so important to school funding and are really emphasized but students get very little back in terms of how they did. They only receive a raw score but do not see how they did on certain questions and are not able to work on the things they need help with.

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  3. In my placement, I see that my teacher tests his students on particular concepts one at a time. His quizzes and tests consist of up to 5 problems each problem testing a different concept which has been taught and discussed in previous classes. Depending how the students are doing with each concept my CT may decide to make certain problems a bit trickier and more advanced.

    Teachers need to be aware that testing influences how students perceive themselves and their mathematical abilities. Teachers need to be more aware how students feel before and after they assign tests. When teachers test students there needs to be a valid reason and level of importance, if not we could just be hurting their self esteem.

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  4. http://ecaldwel.blogspot.com/2012/10/in-class-response.html

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  5. In my class, my CT often asks students questions while she's lecturing or when the students are working together, so that she can assess the students' learning. Including exams, this is one of her most common way to assess students learning. In contrast, to the Simpson video, my teacher rarely gives out assessments that will not be graded because she thought that it would not be efficient to do so. I thought that using practice exams to assess students' understanding is a great way before the teacher starts introducing the topic. That way the teacher can see what the students know.

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  6. Jackis: http://mtitm.blogspot.com/2012/10/thinking-about-thinking.html

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  7. Good forms of assessment are critical in the process of designing and implementing differentiated instruction practices. Without a good knowledge of students' understanding, teachers will be unable to effectively tailor lessons to their students strengths, weaknesses, or any special needs that they might have. Moreover, knowledge of students' preferences, acquired through a variety of assessment forms, will help the teacher get a better understanding of which types of assessment are most reliable in evaluating a particular student's knowledge. The central problem with this situation is that it requires that teachers have near complete autonomy to design and implement assessments. This is clearly not the case in actuality, as even students who receive "progressive" educations that are not standard-driven must still take time to learn those standards. Because of how much rides on the results of standardized testing and the requirements placed on schools and districts, there is no way to cut standardized-test prep out of public school curricula.

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  8. http://chthnguy.blogspot.com/2012/10/thinking-about-thinking.html
    here is my post

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    1. new link: http://chthnguy.blogspot.com/2012/10/thinking-about-thinking-with-shift-to.html

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  9. http://cexwong.blogspot.com/2012/10/educ-228-10302012-video-response.html#comment-form

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