Effective Use of Formative Assessment in a Social Studies Classroom

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In order for teachers to use formative assessment effectively there must be these components: it must be incorporated into each lesson, must have student involvement, must collect information on student performance to determine if outcomes are meet, must give the teacher feedback to help shape and guide student learning, and must give the student feedback to help them reflect upon their learning. Anecdotal Records, Quizzes, Portfolios, and Student-Led Conferences all meet the components of an effective formative assessment and are applicable within a Social Studies classroom. Anecdotal Records Anecdotal records from observation of students are a great form of assessment because they record the student's social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive development throughout the school year. By keeping these records, it allows the teacher to keep an ongoing record for reflection and interventions, when necessary. When keeping anecdotal records it is important to answer questions like: who, what when, and where. The purpose of these records is not to elaborate upon the child, but to simply state and keep an ongoing record of the student. This type of assessment is also especially useful for students with an IEP and students with behavioral disorders. This assessment is also useful for Social Studies because the students can be observed and documented when working in groups, working alone on assignment, or when researching on the computer. Quizzes Quizzes are also a valuable tool to use after a lesson, to help measure where the students are in the material covered. These quizzes are corrected but the grades are not recorded, they are used only so the students can know how well they did. After quizzes are given,... ... middle of paper ... ...cussed and helps the parents to be involved in the process. When doing a Student-Led Conference, the student can create a portfolio to be displayed, containing: quizzes, activities, projects, homework..Etc. These portfolios can be either content specific, like if the teacher wants to focus on Social Studies or can be a sampling of all subjects. The student will write a reflection on their learning and efforts thus far in the semester and be able to talk about their academic journey with the teacher and parents. This type of assessment helps to open the lines of communication between the student, parents, and teacher. Also a great assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs), since so many ELLs struggle with academic language, Student-Led Conferences is great to help them feel more comfortable talking about academics and building academic language skills.
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