Summative Assignment: Curriculum Based Assessment Design

Ashford University

EDU 645: Learning & Assessment for the 21st Century

One of the most important roles that differentiating instruction in the classroom relies upon is the pre-assessment. This vital component of teaching is generally administered to students by the instructor before formal instruction takes place of a unit. The pre-assessment is utilized by instructors to gain a better understanding of what students know about an area of study before the lesson begins as a means of obtaining information about what they can do before the lesson, what they understand about the topic, and what they are capable of. In addition to these areas, instructors are also given important information about the strengths and weaknesses that may be present, aiding them in any differences and/or disparities that might arise in the lesson itself and better tailor the lesson for the students because of this information.

An instructor can learn a great deal about their students in effectively administering formative and summative assessments in the classroom. In fact, “formative assessments help teachers to consider each student’s learning needs and styles to adapt instruction accordingly; track individual student achievements; design intentional and object student self-assessments and offer opportunities for improvement (ASCD, 2017). In addition to the formative assessment, a summative assessment “can be used to draw conclusions about the appropriateness of the curriculum offering and the readiness of learners” (Lefrancois, 2013). In understanding pre-assessments, a summative assessment can be designed appropriately with an assessment reflection following for a third-grade classroom currently working on literacy and reading based objectives in English Language Arts formerly covered in week four.

Part 1: Pre-Assessment Description

In using the Madeline Hunter Lesson Plan from week four, for students to be able to understand the text being read, in this case the traditional Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. The Grade Level Content Standards to be met fall under the umbrella of the Common Core State Standard initiative and are as follows:

For students to achieve the content standards, they will need to focus on the following learning objectives: Students will read the required content with appropriate reason and comprehension. Students will be able to use the information they have gleaned from their readings to engage in collaborative peer-to-peer discussions with both the instructor and classmates with 90-100% accuracy. Students will learn to present their findings and claims by using critical thinking skills, personal insight, information and key words from the text, and other information they have gathered to help them answer where, when, why, who, and how questions with 90% accuracy. In addition, students will express age-appropriate comprehension of content through distinguishing how the characters of the text contribute to the sequence of events through their actions, motivations, feelings, and how those actions are either different or aligned with their own point of view in a short story.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3: Describe characters in a story (e.g. their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.6: Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2: Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

For each student to successfully work toward meeting these objectives, the responsibility rest on the shoulders of the instructor to measure any and all progress in a timely and efficient manner to assist students in success on both formative and summative assessments. By implementing formative assessments, an instructor can ensure that students have met an appropriate level of mastery prior to a summative assessment being taken. Formative assessments aid the instructor in gathering additional information about student progress, provide data that may indicative potential issues with the lesson material, allow for greater insight on how to progress the lesson, and highlight any areas that may require additional troubleshooting. In turn, a formative assessment can provide students with essential feedback on their individual progress and allow for a clearer understanding of the material in areas that may still be problematic. It provides the grounds for the student to practice and build on what they already know and allows for a sense of security and accomplishment in the areas they have already mastered. Through the formative assessment and subsequent reflective period that follows, students and instructor alike can then move forward with the summative assessment with confidence.

In preparing students for the summative assessment, students will be provided with ample opportunities to master the lesson material through useful instructional strategies. This begins with what is called ‘The Learning Circle.’ The Learning Circle in a time during the day where the class will assemble on the carpeted area of the classroom directly in front of the blackboard/dry erase board and together, begin a dialogue about the lesson. This will start with students using inside voices and proper etiquette, such as: raising their hands before speaking, calmly waiting their turn, respecting the opinions of others, contributing to a healthy classroom environment through positive reinforcement, and listening to what their peers are saying to understand diverse perspectives. Students will add their opinions and feelings to the discussion by explaining and elaborating upon what they already know about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and what they hope to learn about this text. The instructional benefits of a group discussion prepare students for summative assessments by “increasing students’ awareness of and tolerance for ambiguity and/or complexity, helping students recognize and investigate their assumptions, helping students develop skills of synthesis and integration, and explore a diversity of perspectives.” (Brookfield & Preskill, 2005) The students and instructor will also compose a list on the board of key-words and points that they feel will be relevant to the text, questions they hope the text will answer, and once the text has been read; these items will be revisited. Students will then distinguish the similarities, differences, and other contextual clues that may have confirmed or denied prior beliefs, answered questions, raised others, and any other pertinent information that was gleaned from the text that is relevant to the terms on the board.

To prepare the students for the summative assessment, the instructor will show students through modeling, how to write a short story. This allows students a base for greater understanding for the collaborative group assignment. Students will then be paired off into smaller groups to write their own short story about the visit to the chocolate factory from the perspective of one of the children in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They will be able to analyze how their assigned characters traits, actions, mood, and characteristics contribute to the plot and theme of the story and in re-telling the story through their eyes, gain greater understanding of how their actions contributed to the events of the text. This use of collaborative grouping allows students to “organize their thoughts in a less threatening context and prepares students for sharing their thoughts with the class” (University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2016).

In the original lesson plan, objectives lacked a certain clarity and students may not have been able to achieve adequate understanding. In altering the lesson to name a specific text and include a collaborative effort on the students’ behalf to write a short story from the perspective of another character allows students to “express themselves through non-threatening opportunities to explore language and imagination.” (Morrissey, 2017) Students needed a stronger assignment then initially incepted to be able to grasp the material and take away from it, the desired content standards.

Technology will have its’ part to play in preparing students for the summative assessment. Students will have the opportunity to use the classroom computers to look up information that is valid to writing their collaborative stories. For students that may need additional assistance, access to Read & Write, a text-to-speech application will be available as well as Universal Reader Plus, a text reader and summarizer that provides translation for eight languages. (Common Sense Education, 2017)

Part 2: Design an Easily Accessible Summative Assessment

This summative assessment is designed to address third grade students in English Language Arts working toward Common Core State Standard mastery. This assessment will work toward Grade Level Content Standards: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.6, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, and build toward the year long goal of achieving CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.10 which states, “By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.” (CCSS, 2017) This assessment will be given to determine if students have indeed, met their learning objectives. Students will be able to show their findings and claims by using critical thinking skills, personal insight, information and key words from the text, and other information they have gathered to help them answer where, when, why, who, and how questions with 90% accuracy.

The following questions will appear on the summative assessment to determine if the learning objective has been mastered:

The Depth of Knowledge (DOK) level for this question is Level 2. The student will need to apply organization methods as order of importance, making observations about the setting, and using context clues to determine where the majority of the story takes place.

  • What is the setting of the story? Include a brief summary of where the majority of the story takes place.

The DOK level for this question is Level 1. Students will need to be able to identify the problem in the first chapter. They will need to define the problem and list the reasons why this is the problem in the first chapter.

  • What is the problem in the first chapter of the book? Why is this a problem?

The DOK level for this question is Level 2. Students must be able to distinguish the problem and then the subsequent solution. They must interpret how the problem is solved and show how it was solved through a summary of that solution.

  • How is this problem solved at the end of the book?

The DOK level for this question is Level 2, but has some traits that could exhibit Level 3. Students must be able to understand cause and effect in terms of Charlie’s behavior. They must be able to identify patterns in his behavior that makes him different and interpret why exactly those behaviors are different than the other children. This requires them to make observations and show the reader why Charlie is different.

  • Cause: How do you believe that Charlie Bucket behaved differently than the other children that were touring the factory?

The DOK level for this question is Level 3. It requires students to be able to develop a logical argument for why things happen to Charlie. They must be able to differentiate between what happens to Charlie and what happens as a direct result of his behavior. Students must draw conclusions based on their ability to critique and assess his behavior.

  • Effect: Because of his different behavior during the tour of the factory, what happens to Charlie? Why do you think this happens?

The DOK level for this question is Level 4. Students are being asked to apply the concepts they read (i.e. How the book’s version of Willy Wonka behaved) and analyze those behaviors to design an entirely new experience. The students are asked to create their own tour of the factory and connect their tour with Willy Wonka’s while simultaneously creating their own experience.

  • If you were Willy Wonka giving a tour of the chocolate factory, what would you have done differently? What would you have done the same?

The questions will be graded on a Writing Rubric:

Criteria Proficient Distinguished Novice
Introduces Topic Topic is clearly introduced. Strong understanding of topic is demonstrated. Topic is mentioned.Demonstrates an understanding of the topic. Topic is not introduced. Does not demonstrate an understanding of topic.
Content & Organization Focus is clear and distinct. Ideas reflect logical sequence, creative expression, descriptive words, and smooth transitions. Focus and ideas are somewhat clear.Attempts to use sequence, details, and logical transition. Focus and ideas are unclear. Writing lacks logical sequence.Details are minimal or lacking. Little to no transitions.
Structure, Grammar, and Mechanics. Exhibits sentence variety with few to no errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Exhibits some understanding of sentence structure. A number of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. Lacks evidence of proper use of complete sentences. Numerous spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors.
Focus Takes a clear position and supports it with relevant reasons and/or examples. May use persuasive strategy to convey points. Takes a position and provides uneven support. Some development present. Attempts may lack development in part. Takes or attempts to take position but is underdeveloped, unclear, and/or provides minimal support.
Voice Voice is appropriate to the topic, purpose, and audience. Writing is engaging and expressive.Uses a range of narrative devices. Voice is present but may be inconsistent or weak. Some awareness of audience.Some narrative devices used. Little or no voice is present. Writing shows no personal involvement.No narrative devices are used.

Part 3: Provide Assessment Reflection

In the case of learning for mastery, it is challenging for an instructor to provide enough time for all students to apply every strategy that may work so all students may learn the same. Independent motivators must have their place in the classroom to help students achieve success. One way is to allow students to resubmit the assessment with corrections made to incorrect answers, helping to assist in gaining mastery and further address problem areas. To determine if mastery is met, student must meet the criteria for the objectives and understand the material. The instructor through use of the rubric, the summative assessment, and the collaborative short story can determine the success of the lesson and identify strong points, weak points, reoccurring issues, and assist students from there.

Students that have special needs or disabilities will be able to receive guided instruction during each step of the learning process. For students that possess learning disabilities in reading, there will be made the option to use Read & Write, Universal Reader Plus, and students will be allotted extra time for reading if necessary. I will use discretion on calling on them during the lesson and will make the time to assist them personally or if possible, utilize the presence of a Teacher’s Assistant. For my student that is diagnosed with ADHD, I will see fit to structure the lesson a little differently. This will consist of providing a “quiet space” for the student to be able to concentrate without additional distraction. I will clearly explain what it is I want from the student in words that are very concise and to the point. I will remove objects that might be distracting and place the necessary materials out as they are needed. With the student with ADHD, less is more. The less complex I make the lesson, the easier it is for them to be able to take away something meaningful without feeling overwhelmed.

To assist my student with ELL’s, I will make sure there is a translator present if possible to help bridge any gaps during the lesson they may need filled. If that is not available, I will make use of Universal Reader Plus and speak very simply. I will make sure that I speak clearly and slowly enough so they can understand me. I will also try to make use of visual cues when available and avoid using short hand, slang, abbreviations, and expressions that would be otherwise confusing. Beyond that, any evidence I collect will be used to change or modify my lessons to the benefit of my students. I can troubleshoot where needed to help my students obtain mastery in a lesson. I will be vigilant in reviewing my lesson plans and not fall victim to hubris. A lesson plan is not perfect, neither am I. If there can be improvements made, it will be done.

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