What should be the purpose of assessments? Explain diagnostic/pre-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment in your own words.
Assessments are a tool to see what the individual student knows. They can be used before the information is presented to gage where they are before the class on the topic begins. And more importantly to measure what the students have learned. Unfortunately with the limited time teachers feel they have they are used as instructional guidance too or another words teaching the test. Assessments are ongoing to see where the class is and in a diverse classroom like today to see where students that may need more attention are. The formative assessment is just that, to see where the class is during the lesson to polish up problem areas. The summative assessment is to wrap up a chapter or topic. They can be in a book report, multiple choice test or essays.
How do these three types of assessments work together to improve student learning? Give an example of how you might use all three to teach a unit on a particular subject.
These assessment help show the current knowledge of a student at the beginning and track the improvement as the course continues. Sousa, D & Tomlinson, C. (2011) mentioned, “Rather than being something that comes at the end of teaching and learning episodes, assessments, rightly seen, is integral to the success of virtually everything that happens in the classroom.” (p. 69) In math I would use the pre-assessment to see what they know it could be me writing on the board and interaction with them or more than likely a written evaluation. As the week or section progresses I would assess their classwork, quizzes and homework to see where they stand. Last, I would evaluate their knowledge level with a summative test before moving on to the next section. In math this is important because a lot of the steps we learn need to be mastered before continuing.
Explain the difference between grading and assessment.
Grades are more of a value to show how the student is doing cumulatively throughout the school year to see who is better than another. Instead the assessment is a tool to see the progress or regression the student maybe experiencing. The text gave an example, “They bring from the past a logic that suggests that assessment is testing, testing is about grading, and grading is about distinguishing winners and losers.” (Sousa, D. & Tomlinson, C. 2011. p. 64)
When is it appropriate for assessments to be graded and when is it not?
Summative assessments would be the “time and place” for them to be considered as grades. According to the text in Table 4.1: Kinds, Purposes, and Examples of Assessments in a Differentiated Classroom, “To determine degrees of student success/mastery with designated goals at key points in a learning cycle and after considerable practice with designated outcomes. Used for the purpose of grading.” (Sousa, D. & Tomlinson, C. 2011. p. 75)
Sousa, D. A. & Tomlinson, C. A. (2011).Differentiation and the brain: How neuroscience supports the learner-friendly classroom. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press