An important aspect of teaching is assessing and evaluating student learning. In order to help students develop the content knowledge as well as the skills mentioned in my teaching philosophy, I plan appropriate formative and summative assessments. Alignment is also important for valid and reliable assessment. My lesson plans demonstrate how I have aligned assessment with the objectives of those lessons. Assessment helps teachers to reflect on their lessons and strategies in order to improve their own teaching skills as well as student learning.

I have created appropriate assessments by making certain that the assessment is aligned with curriculum and instruction. This is evidenced by the table of specifications shown with the test I created for the Middle Ages. Some of the questions towards the end are released SOL test questions as well. This helps students to become familiar with the language and style that those tests will include.

I have used formative assessment in the form of pre-tests for review, entrance and exit tickets for seminars, the discussion of seminars, and monitoring students during in-class activities. After the seminar lesson, I used the exit tickets and the discussion itself to determine what level of review I would need to do of Machiavelli’s ideas. The pre-test activity helped me to determine if students remembered the basics of the civilizations studied in World History I and so where to begin with SOL review.

I have also completed a project as part of my graduate studies in which I had students write short take-home essays according to a rubric that I designed. Some examples of student essays show their growth in writing these essays over time.

I have used assessment results to make instructional decisions. After seeing the results of a test that I gave to students, I could see what topics and concepts that students continued to struggle with after instruction. I used this information to inform future units. Since subsequent time periods in history are a result of previous times, certain concepts are important for students to understand. I decided to review/re-teach these concepts as necessary. I also noticed that several students struggled with maps, so I created a map activity during SOL review for students to use as a geography study guide.

Samples of formative and summative assessments used in the classroom appropriate for students and subject matter.

  • Formative:
    • Pre-test activity for SOL Review – To have a basis for where to start SOL review in terms of how much students remembered from earlier in the year, I put together a review activity that was fun for the students and informative for me as the teacher. I created a PowerPoint with a series of images from the course (the pyramids, cuneiform, Charlemagne, maps, etc.) with the name of the image on the slide. I put the students into pairs. One student in each pair would face the back of the room, while the other student faced the screen with the images. The student who could see the image would describe it to their partner without using the corresponding word on the screen. This forced them to describe what they knew about the image. For example, when viewing a map of Africa one student gave the clue, “the continent where early man first emerged.”

Demonstrated growth of students over time.

A lesson or instructional activity that was developed based on student assessment results.

  • Analysis of Middle Ages Test
  • Map Review Activity – During one unit, there were many maps so I put a map on the test. There were several students who struggled a lot with the map. After this, I decided to have the students create a map with many of the civilizations that they had studied during this course. The intent was that they could use this map as a study aid for SOL review. I gave them a blank world map and a list of the civilizations. They were instructed to also include the general time periods of the different civilizations in the key.