The following is an authentic assessment for English Language Learners. The assessment covers finding the area of figures.
Different activities require different types of authentic
assessments. One particular activity
will help students practice finding the area of different figures while being
assessed authentically. Various shapes
will be cut out on different colored construction paper. The shapes will be color coordinated so that
different pieces of the same color can evenly fit together. Each student will receive a cutout. Next, the student will find a partner who has
a shape that is the same color as his or hers.
When the students find partners with the same colored shape, they will
put their shapes together like a puzzle.
After the partners match up their shapes, they will find the dimensions
of their figure by measuring it with a ruler.
Then, the students find the area of the combined figures. Students can use any strategy that they have
learned to find the area, including formulas, or adding together the areas of
each individual figure.
For example,
one student is given a green square. The
student finds another student with a green right triangle. The students put the shapes together to make
a trapezoid. Then, the students must
find the area of the new figure that they created, which would be the
trapezoid. Besides finding the area, the
students will complete other tasks which will test their language domains. On a piece of paper, the students will show
all their work as to how they found their answer. Lastly, in complete sentences, the students
will write out all of the steps they used to solve the problem.
The shapes
and area activity will be used for the mathematics domain; more specifically,
those at the eighth grade math level.
The activity can also be used for English Language Learners, primarily
those who are at a Level 5 in speaking, listening, and writing. By working with a partner, students will use
their speaking and listening skills for effective communication. Students will also practice their writing
skills by writing out in complete sentences all the steps they used to solve
problems. It is necessary to assess
English Language Learners, as the activity calls for an authentic assessment,
which will be observations and a checklist (see page 5).
A checklist
helps keep track of a student's progress or performance and is made ahead of
time so that teachers can easily mark down what they noticed in an organized
manner. A checklist gives a teacher
specific things to look for in the students.
The checklist for the shapes and area activity will consist of three
columns: one to check off a task, one for the activity being observed, and one
for comments that the teacher can write.
The tasks that teachers will look for and check off include math skills
in finding the area, writing skills, speaking skills through talking with a
partner, showing work, and participation.
The
instructions for administering the checklist authentic assessment is fairly
simple. While the students are working
on the shapes and area activity, the teacher will walk around the classroom
with the checklist attached to a clipboard.
The teacher will watch and observe the students carefully. The teacher will check off the things that
the student is able to do correctly or effectively. The teacher will also write comments about a
student's strong suits, areas that need improvement, as well as other
additional and necessary comments.
The
observation and checklist authentic assessment has several different
purposes. First and foremost, students
will be tested on their knowledge of find the area of different shapes. By completing the activity, it will be
determined if the student can successfully find the area of a figure, or if
they further instruction. A teacher will
be able to see if the student can do the math correctly or if he or she needs
further assistance. Secondly, students
will be assessed on their writing skills.
By writing out the steps used to solving the problem, teachers can see
whether a student knows the correct mathematics vocabulary related to area. Teachers will also be able to see how
students structure their sentences, or notice if students use correct spelling
and grammar. The students should be able
to write lengthy, complex explanations, and teachers can assess their writing
skills through the activity by watching what they are writing. Level 5 English Language Learners should have
strong writer skills, and by observing, teachers will be able to see if they
are on the right track.
Also
through the shapes and area activity, teachers will be able to assess the
student's speaking skills. The activity
calls for working with a partner, as a lot of discussion will take place. The teachers can eavesdrop and listen to the
students' conversations in order to assess them. Level 5 speakers should have linguistic
complexity and vocabulary mastery.
Teachers should note if the students are using mathematical
vocabulary. Level 5 speakers should not
have much trouble understanding their partner.
They should be very close to the skills of their English proficient
peers. Teachers should look to make sure
that the ELLs are easily understanding their partner and maintaining the flow
of the conversation.
The
observations and checklist are appropriate measures of achievement for Level 5
English Language Learners. Because Level
5 ELLs are more advanced, they do not need to be guided as much; therefore,
they can be a little more independent.
Being observed is also less pressure than taking a unit or standardized
tests. Testing can lead to anxiety and
may not always accurately assess the students, even if they get a good
grade. By watching the students in
action, a teacher can get a better idea of where a student stands.
In general,
the teachers will assess the shapes and area activity by observing and making
marks on a checklist. The assessment
will be used to see where the students are at in specific domains and whether
they are on the right path. Observing
and using a checklist will be the most effective way to authentically assess
Level 5 English Language Learners for the area assignment.
Pennsylvania English
Language Proficiency Standards: Classroom/Formative Framework
Content Objectives/MPI: Students will be able to find the area of
combined figures with a partner by measuring and using formulas.
Language Objectives/MPI: Students will be able to
write the steps they used to find the area of the combined figures with a
partner. Students will be able to
discuss with a partner how to find the area of the combined figures.
Grade Level and Domain: 8^{th} grade
mathematics
ELP Level: Level 5 Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Alternative Authentic Assessment: Observations and
Checklist
Developed Assessment: Checklist on shape and area activity
Check all the activities that students are able to complete
effectively. Write comments about strong
areas, areas that need improvement, as
well as other additional comments.
Check

Activity

Comments

Follows directions carefully


Measures the figure correctly


Finds the correct area of the figure


Communicates effectively with partner by speaking and
listening


Shows all work


Writes out the steps to solving the problem in full
sentences with little or no mistakes


Finishes the assignment in a timely manner


Participation is evident

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