For a young child, going off to school can be an intimidating experience. Thoughts of whether the other children will like them, if they will have enough money to buy an ice cream at lunch, or if they will have homework that night overwhelms their minds. However, a major part of schooling is testing, and many children freeze when they hear that word. Think about yourself in a testing situation then imagine what it is like for a young child to feel this defeating anxiety. That is why I am informing you, as fellow committee members, teachers, and learners alike, of these ideas for assessing children in math and science. I hope you will all take the time to think about these different methods, and possibly agree on a way to assess our children in the classroom, and eventually present these ideas to the school board to be voted on.
As teachers of math and science, we need to stop and ask ourselves what it is we are hoping to accomplish in our classroom. Is it most important for the child to get the right answer, or are we more concerned with how he or she gets the answer? Granted, we are striving for the correct answer, but sometimes numbers are added incorrectly, data is written down wrong, or a child's handwriting is misread. Personally, I feel it is the process the student uses to get to the answer which is important, whether it is right or wrong. "Because the intent [of a new model of assessment] is to assess the creation of knowledge and the processes involved rather than to measure the extent to which students have acquired a coverage of the field of mathematics, a much wider variety of measures, many of them qualitative, are needed" (Bright & Jo...
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...f our students in math and science. I feel very passionately for the use of a portfolio, because I feel the students will feel they have more of a say in their education. After all, we all need to work together, because we are all part of a team, the same team.
Bright, G.W. & Joyner, J.M. (1998). Classroom assessment in mathematics. New York: University of America, Inc.
Christofi, C. (1988). Assessment & profiling in science. London: Cassell.
Cutler, C.S. & Monroe, E.E. (1999, Summer). Contemporary education. What are you learning, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?–the diary of a teacher's incorporation of portfolios into mathematics instruction, 70, 52-55.
Kulm, G. (1994). Mathematics assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Romberg, T.A. (1992). Mathematics assessment and evaluation. Albany: State University of New York Press.
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