Formative Assessments for Objectives of Grade 4 Science Standard 5…
for Objectives of Grade 4 Science Standard 5 according to Utah Core
Students will be able to identify, compare and classify the physical characteristics of Utah's wetland, desert and forest, including location, elevation and weather pattern by making a 3D model of the environment.
After introducing three types of environments in Utah, list out at least 5 misconception questions about the physical characteristics of each environment. Have students say agree or not agree and explain or state what is the correct concept.
1.Utah forests are always wet and hot. 2. Utah deserts are hot deserts. 3. Wetlands cover most of Utah.
How it informs
Each environment is unique and should not be missed up. After the introduction, students should be able to tell at least three information about the environment including elevation, temperature and precipitation. If students mix up the precipitation of forest and the elevation of desert, I will go back to show them the 5 maps of Utah to reteach and reinforce the concept.
Students will be able to name and describe the common organism found in Utah environments and the reasons why these living things have adapted to the environment in which they live.
One Minute Oral Essay
In the dual language immersion science class, writing specific science terms is not assessed and also not the objective of the lesson. Oral presentation of understanding the objective is enough in such condition. Thus, after the mini lesson on the common organism in different environments, an oral essay within one minute to sum up what's learned can be the formative assessment.
Sample Prompt of the Oral Essay
Please describe Utah forest animals and how they survive in such environment.
How it informs
Certain animals and plants mostly live in a fixed environment. If a student place black bear in desert area, it indicates either the student did not get the English definition of the organism or the environment, or the student doesn't understand the environment that's been discussed. A picture gallery is needed to show more information for students to place organism in the environment with more hints.
In this lesson, many plants and animals are introduced, some of which are familiar to the students, some of which are new and can bring WOW moment. A way to sum up and reinforce the lesson will be having students to do 3-2-1 at the end.
Sample Prompt to do 3-2-1
Utah is such an interesting place with diverse organisms. Please 3 things you just found out in this lesson; 2 interesting things that you want to share with your classmates and 1 question that you still not sure about.
How it informs
This formative assessment helps a teacher to find out whether students were paying enough attention during the class. And if only part of the task is finished, it indicates that the students might trouble following up and the teacher should slow down the pace in the lesson.
Students will be able to explain how scientists use classification schemes and to apply it to classify unfamiliar Utah plants and animals, such as invertebrate and vertebrate.
The most common formative assessment is the exit card. It helps the teacher to grab an idea how students do in the lesson. In this lesson, several classification schemes are introduced. The information is abundant. The students will have a chart indicating how organism are classified. An exit card/ticket to involving the chart is the easiest and quickest way to assess.
Sample Exit Card Question
This animal has no legs. It has no shells either. What kind of animal is it?
How it informs
Classification can be fun but also difficult if the student doesn't know where to start. By examining the exit cards, I can tell whether the student understand the classification scheme and know how to use the chart to help. And by figuring out how many students can and cannot do it, I will fix the following lessons to reteach and reinforce.
Formative assessments serve as the feedback tools for students. They help teachers to find out whether the lesson went well and how well it went. Once I find there seems to be a problem of student understanding the question, it's a clue that I need to fix my lesson plans in the following lessons. But it also depends on different situations.
In this case, I don't have to alter my plan. I can just walk to the student during lesson time and help him/her in private to help.
A group of students
In dual language classroom, there are always students who don't have the same language proficiency as the others. In this case I have to go further to see if the students have problem understanding the language, or if the students have problem understanding the science concept. I will group the students accordingly and then give more visual help with pictures or in some really extreme cases, I have to use English to instruct.
The whole class
This will be the worst scenario in a lesson. It means I have to go back to the same objective using different strategies, altering the teaching steps, or maybe break down the objective into more detailed aspects.