At this point in the semester, I am eight weeks into my student teaching experience--with a mere seven weeks remaining. Thus far we have read stories by O. Henry and Poe, and we have practiced "Talking to the Text," which reinforces reading strategies the students learned in sixth grade. I cannot help but wonder:
- Have I made an impact in my students' lives?
- Will they remember what I've taught them?
- Will they take information from my class and apply it elsewhere?
One of the best ways to help students retain information is by providing them with meaningful assessments--assessments in which they can create, analyze, and synthesize. Meaningful assessments give students a purpose for completing an assignment. Rather than simply completing the task for a grade, students make the task purposeful.
In my attempts at helping students discover a purpose f
or each unit, I have developed assessments that move beyond basic recall questions. For example, at the end of the O. Henry short story unit the students created their own short stories using similar plot structure. The following units that I will
be completing with the students revolve around the following texts: The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 and To Kill a Mockingbird.
At the end of the Watson Unit, I was thinking of having the students create a journal for one of the characters, in which they describe the various settings, conflicts, and characters of the text, building upon the elements of fiction that we p
reviously discussed during our short story units.
As for the TKAM Unit, I am still unsure as to how I want to assess the students, yet make it meaningful at the same time. Any suggestions?
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