EDU629: Module 5 Discussion Post
With regards to diagnostic pre-assessments we traditionally use prior units to determine how students approach each successive task or project. I do have some get-to know you assignments in the first week of class where I begin to uncover students learning styles, interests, and prior knowledge. I also establish many norms with my students while doing these diagnostics. What resonated with me from Hansen was the “Morning Meeting Prompts” to enable community, two way dialog, and connections between work and content. I began doing class meetings in my small group area this year in order to break the traditional one-to-many check-ins in front of our projector. It seemed to create a comfortable and informal opening to the class that also allowed for a sense of togetherness in a shop that can easily make everyone feel spread out and isolated.
Within my classroom I utilize many informal formative assessments. To be specific I utilize quick checks for understanding as well as confidence indications pretty much every day as we progress through projects. Confidence indications typically happen immediately after I brief my students on the work for the day and any next steps related to our projects, typically a nod or thumbs up or down. As for Checks for Understanding I utilize the chat function in our 3D modeling program to have students ask questions or for help related to their modeling work. This helps me uncover if I should reiterate anything to the whole class or form small groups for the next class. Observations I use frequently as I roam around the room to help students with their daily work, and I did a lot of observation this past week as I casually checked in with students as they modeled. I also do more formal desk critiques with my level 2 engineering class and senior capstone students, these are part student presentation and part observation on my part. In more rigorous units I do utilize quizzes to check and make sure students understand components or tools before they utilize them in a project. I also ask them to do some sort of concept map or diagram in each of our four units. I tend to keep quizzes to a minimum and try to integrate them as casually and collaboratively as possible using kahoot and other systems. My class is an elective and at the end of the day most major projects where I give a quiz are group projects. I have tried using more exit slips this past week to guide what I would reinforce during my class briefings before independent work time. My hope going forward is that I can create some sort of system of entrance and exit tickets that can help better inform what I do in real time. The issue I have is them taking up too much time. What I may do is create a system that mimics what we do for our daily logs in my level 2 classes. The logs can be done at the beginning or end of class and when done digitally can be collected and analyzed at a faster rate. I’d like to get better at having my students utilize concept maps, and may try to have them analyze and visualize the procedures they’re undertaking using concept maps. Finally, I believe that I should make more time for discussion in my classes, students spend a lot of time designing on their own in our current unit. I am planning on having a show-and-tell session where students show each other what they’re working on in CAD and move around the room checking out each others work prior to it being 3D printed and iterated on.
My summative assessments for larger projects are rubrics that students see from the outset of a larger unit project. I also use either modeling exercises (CAD or physical) or machine tool quizzes through out the year. Both of these assessments are final steps in preparing students for some type of work in our shop spaces, or lead up to a larger summative assessment for a larger project. At the end of the day it’s absolutely clear to me that a student is ready to take on a task or use a new skill safely and effectively with my shop spaces(Tomlinson & Sousa, 2018, 70).
What I’d like to improve on is figuring out better ways for students to self assess. I just recently found a way for students to self assess on CAD exercises to see how precise they are by calculating the mass of 3D modeled objects. For physical objects made with machine tools I’m considering reverting back to old industrial arts methods where students must calculate tolerance(physical difference) between a product they make as part of an exercise and a blueprint. I also want to figure out ways of quizzing on digital tools like I do with physical shop tools. I’ve been considering using flipgrid or similar tools to make this process easily accessible for students.
Hansen, C. B. (2019). The Heart and Science of Teaching: Transformative Applications That Integrate Academic and Social–Emotional Learning. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780807777497/ Tomlinson, D.A.S.C. A. (2018). Differentiation and the Brain. [VitalSource Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781945349539/