Monday, 18 January 2016

Tuning In / Pre-Assessing Angles

Tuning into new unit on angles and pre-assessing:

To start kicking our minds back into angles after perhaps a year or so when they were last visited, we did a simple pre-assessment to recall what we knew or remembered.  

I like giving simple, open-ended pre-assessments because they tend to give a lot more valuable and often very interesting information of where each child is at with their understandings. There is also less pressure on the child compared to traditional 'question-answer' pre-assessments. 

For our pre-assessment and tuning in, the children were simply given a piece of paper with angles written in the centre and some possible ideas of what they could think about and share in what they already know. (see samples below)


Looking through their pre-assessments, I am able to identify those students who are quite knowledgeable already, such as the student below.  This helps me discover what I don't need to introduce to certain students. 





When we do pre-assessments, I always remind the children that the purpose is for me to find out how I could group them and what I do and don't need to help them understand.  
"If you know a lot, that's great. If you don't know a lot, that's great too."

The sample below helps me group similar students who might need additional support.  (I particularly liked the 'warning' this child provided!)






Finding some students who are able to transfer their understandings without suggesting: 





Open-ended assessments like these can also reveal some interesting strategies and/or perhaps some misconceptions some students might be harbouring:




After 10 or 15 minutes of independently reflecting, the children then grouped in trios and shared what they had recorded.  This strategy helps solidify in the child's mind their own understandings as well giving them an opportunity to have their memories possibly resparked by others in the group when they share.  Lots of "OH yeah! I remember that!" occur during this sharing time and some wonderings already sprouted for us to investigate:


° What is the real definition of an angle?

° Does every shape have angles?

° How can you use a protractor to measure angles larger than 180°?

° Why do we need to learn about angles?







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