Observation and Assessment
In Keys Grade School, teachers use both formal and informal assessment to evaluate the child’s development and learning. Everyday, teachers track the development of each child through informal observation of the child’s work and behavior. Each activity is documented through pictures, which will be shown to parents later on. After each topic, the work of each child is also collected to find out the development of each child. A portfolio, which compiles the work of the child in the classroom and at home is also done at the end of every term to make sure that any evaluation done by the teacher, is backed up with data. Formal assessment is also done at the end of each term to determine the amount of learning the child has acquired. Formal assessment is done through worksheets. A checklist is also accomplished to determine the level of development in the cognitive, social and emotional, and physical aspects of the child. As for language, the Dolsch test is given to them, which looks into their ability to read and speak out words.
I think that the child portfolio is effective because it provides strong evidence of the teacher’s evaluation without being biased. It shows the actual works of the child so anyone who would read the assessment of the child would understand it at once as supported by the portfolio. Everyday observation is also effective because development does not happen in just an instance. I think that everyday observations show the progress of each child and actually reflect which methods of teaching or activities are most effective for them. Checklists, on the other hand, give a general view of the development of the child in each aspect. It is effective because it focuses on behaviors which are present so that what needs to developed is apparent.
Formative assessment is present through the comments in worksheets and collaborative activities. While the children are working, the teachers go around to find out their progress. Teachers tell the children what they could still improve on and would look into the general progress of the class. If ever the teacher notices that the whole class could not follow with the lesson, they usually extend the lesson or modify it to meet the children’s needs.
Observation and assessment is important because not only does it track each child’s development but also monitors the effectiveness of teaching. Observation and assessment will give us an idea of where the child is at the moment and what more they could do. It magnifies their strengths and weakness so that teachers could create opportunities for them to improve themselves. On the other hand, it also gives a sort of reality check for the teacher. It tells the teacher which methods are effective for each child and which are not. Observation and assessment helps in the process of improving learning and teaching as well.
Journal for December 8, 2011
Christmas program on December 10! Everybody’s stressed out, even the kids are stressed out. We practiced today together with the other grade ones their Christmas program songs which are: Have a Holly Jolly Christmas and Til There Was You. It was very tiring for me and the kids as well because they had to repeat it over and over again. But the good thing is, most of them have memorized their lines already. After that, we had a community practice with Teacher Marla with all the KEYS students. It was quite chaotic but when they began singing the Christmas Canon, they sounded like angels (not exaggerating!). There’s something in their voices that made me relaxed and actually happy. What’s amazing is that when Teacher Marla asked them to begin singing, all of them kept quiet and really focused on their part. I could see that the kids were taking it seriously and trying their best.
One Araullo on their best behavior!
Journal for December 6, 2011
The highlight of my day is doing the class parol. December 10 will be their Christmas program and each class needs to decorate a big parol to be displayed on that night. Parents and guests will also be given the opportunity to bid for the parol. Teacher Tina wanted to make use of recycled material for our parol and with a lot of thinking we decided to use leaves for it. The children will put glue on the stems of the leaf and we’ll sprinkle glitters over it to add color. It was really fun for all of us although controlling the children was a bit hard because they seem to be angry with the glitters. After we have decorated the leaves, we left it off to dry. And tried pasting it on the parol, the result’s really nice and most importantly it’s the children’s work. Here’s how it looks like:
Journal for December 5, 2011
I joined the KEYS outreach program at Addition Hills, Barangay Center. The students from Grade 5, 6 and 7 prepared some gifts for the young kids at the center and we brought it to them today. We left school at around 8am and arrived at the center at around 8:15am. Teaher Didi shared a message to the people in the community and told them how important it is for the KEYS student to reach out to the people around them. The the kids shared a Christmas song to to people which was “Hark the Herald”. Here they are singing.
After that, the Barangay Captain shared a short message of how much the outreach means to them. They were really appreciative of the gesture especially since the whole community have been through a terrible fire incident the previous week. Then, the students went on to giving gifts to the kids. Some students were even talking to the kids which made us really proud of them. All the gifts were prepared and donated by the grade 5, 6 and 7 students.
Journal for November 29, 2011
After their palengke visit, the students are still discussing their experience little by little. As an output for the whole palengke module, they need to make a diorama by groups. The making of a diorama of a palengke in social studies is the highlight of my day. The students had to plan first through drawing everything they saw inside a palengke. They need to agree as a group which stalls to place on their diorama and how their diorama would look like. For today, they had just began planning. I had a lot of fun watching them because they’re very serious and exciting with the project. Well, some groups had a hard time deciding on which stalls are the most important but they were all willing to discuss their ideas. It’s really nice to know that they remember a lot from their trip to the palengke.
Journal for November 28, 2011
Paco is one student that is very “makulit”. He’s hard to control and always gets his way out of the situation (he’s that smart) and even his mom tells us that we shouldn’t believe everything he says. Since his behavior distracts the class sometimes, Teacher Tina and Teacher Ken uses stamps to discipline him. At the end of everyday, there are certain behaviors that he should exhibit in order to get stamps and he told me that each stamp is equal to 20 minutes of computer time. The behaviors are: he stays seated, says things politely, finishes his food, finishes work on time and being respectful to others.
The highlight of my day is doing stamps with him. The stamps are very important for Paco (because if he forgets to bring it to us, he isn’t allowed to play at all). I was able to observe him all day and Teacher Ken was busy in the afternoon which is why he asked me to do it with Paco. It’s fun because when it’s stamp time, Paco is really really nice. He wanted to complete his stamps but he couldn’t directly tell me to give him the stamp which is why we reviewed each behavior together. We were arguing with finishing work because he didn’t help out with their social studies project. But he was insisting that the social studies activity (making a diorama of a palengke) isn’t counted. In the end, I won (cause I’m the teacher hahaha). Paco got stamps for staying seated, saying things politely and being respectful to others. He was disappointed but still, that’s one hour of play time for him!
Weekly Reflection #8
Quote of the Week: ”Does the inherent impossibility of traditional education, training and other formal learning processes drive insane all those involved for too long?” -Clark Aldrich
Realization of the Week: My students have been sitting on a “traditional setup” for just a week and believe me, they’re showing signs of insanity. Education is not to drive the children insane by asking them to do whatever you dictate them to do rather it is to drive the children insane by showing them the possibilities of life. I don’t want to be a traditional teacher ever. I will drive myself insane if I become one.
Journal for November 24, 2011
We’re still on assessment and nothing much different is happening today. Mauro’s still sick which makes us all worry. The highlight of my day is the silence in the classroom! (kidding!) The highlight of my day is checking their homework. Remember that we compiled them all yesterday and I’m checking some more of them today. It’s a nice experience because I get to see each child in their homework. Their individual work represents who they are and it’s funny how when I check it, I really think of them. Guess that’s my highlight for today, I’ll go on check some more of their works.
Journal for November 23, 2011
Assessment is so awesome! We’re still doing assessment and still on a half day which is great because we get to work more on other things. The highlight of my day is after classes when we fixed all the homework of the kids from the beginning of second term. Teacher Ken asked me to help fix the homework per kid and so that we could keep track of those who aren’t submitting. It was relaxing, manual labor to sort all the papers out. We finished sorting today and I brought home some to check and write observations. I hope I can finish it tonight so that I could work more tomorrow.
On another note, it’s a pretty sad day because Mauro’s sick. He came in a little bit late for class and was really slow in fixing his things but he didn’t seem sick. One part of assessment is to bring the children outdoors and they had to write words that they remember. He was alright then, he sad on a corner and working quietly on his own. When time was up and they were asked to line up, he suddenly threw up (it was a lot). He couldn’t stop throwing up which is why they brought him to the wellness center and they found out that he has a fever (39 degrees). Mauro’s not someone who complains and we know that he really tries his best to do his work. Teacher Tina called his mom and asked him to talk to her and the moment he heard his mom’s voice he began crying and told her that he’s having a really hard time and would want to go home already. Mauro never cries. It was really sad for us especially since his birthday is tomorrow. I hope he gets well soon. Sigh. Kids can easily break your heart.
Journal for November 22, 2011
Still assessment week so it’s still a quiet day. The highlight of my day is being able to asses the children individually. We’re doing a little bit of one on one assessment today and I had the task to assess some kids in their oral reading ability. There are 4 sets of words from Dolsch and each child has to read it out loud and each set progresses from easy to difficult. Teacher Ken let me assess the kids who are smarter (lack of a better term) so that I won’t have a hard time. I had to let them read the words, take note of their mistakes, self corrections and other observations which I really enjoyed (felt like being a real teacher). I called them one by one and I discovered that each of them have a different approach towards reading. They all undoubtedly had an easy time reading those words but all of them also committed a mistake maybe because of their attitude towards the word. For example, Macie has the tendency to read the words real fast which is why she commits a lot of mistake in the middle of the set because she says the word faster than her mind processes it. On the other hand, Ryan takes his time in reading. I think he reads it first in his mind before he says it out loud to avoid making a mistake. Melissa finds it easier to read the harder set of words and I think this is because she tends to take the easier words for granted. See, all of the students with almost the same performance towards reading but very different behavior.