Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Using Formative Assessments to Help the Unit Become Even More Student-driven

Using formative assessments are a powerful tool to maintain engagement within a unit and greatly helps us as teachers to ensure we are supporting and challenging each child with their learning curiosity and needs.

I think it is important to always explain to the class what the purpose of any sort of assessment is.  For this fairly quick formative related to our unit measuring volume and capacity, we understood that the reason we are doing it is to help me see who understands what and who might need some help with understanding. To move forward with our maths enquiries, this will ensure you have the skills needed to explore further.  It also serves as a time for you to reflect and gather your thoughts about what you know about volume and capacity. 

If you know how to answer something that's great, if you don't know that's great too.

This isn't new to my students- we discuss the same thing every time we do any assessment.

The assessment:

On the reverse, they had 3 questions:

Look at your central idea reflections.

So far, I feel I have learnt (circle one):

° not many new things
° a few new things
° a lot of new things
° everything we have done so far has been new to me

I see this question as a barometer of how engaging and relevant the unit has been so far for each child. When I see which children circled 'not many' or 'a few', it helps me determine new groupings for learning experiences and when I look at their wonderings I can help create engagements to cater to their curiosity and learning needs. 

Wonderings I still have:

- What other strategies can we use to measure volume or capacity?
- Are some strategies more effective than others and why?
- What are the imperial measurements for capacity and volume?
- Does a cubic centimetre need to be cubic in shape? 
- Can we use any object to help measure volume and capacity?
- Is there any easier way of measuring the volume of complicated shapes rather than just counting the number of cubic centimetres used to build them?
- Why do we need units of measurement?- Why can't we just estimate?
- What things would we measure using cubic millimetres?
- How are volume and capacity related (if they are)?
- Are grams and millilitres connected?
- Are there other strategies to measure the volume of rectangular prisms other than using the formula L x H x W?
- Does air have volume? (I'm still really curious to find out about this)
- Is it possible to find the volume of a sphere (if so, how)?
- Why did people decide they needed to measure volume or capacity of objects?

Creative Thinking:
Look at our central idea. What could we do to help investigate our central idea more?

- How can we measure the capacity of the universe?
- Find strategies to find the volume of strangely shaped objects
- Find the capacity of different balloons: we could start by estimating which balloon will have the greatest capacity by looking at their shapes before blowing them up.
- Measure the volume of the whole school building
- Build another type of city like we did for the ladybirds, but make it more challenging
- Be given two different strategies to find the capacity of something and then test which is more effective
- Build something with objects in our classroom with a limit of volume eg, 5 cubic metres
- Find out the capacity of our mouths by seeing how many sweets can it hold?
- How could we find out the volume of air on Earth?
- We could find out about the imperial system and see what those measurements look like compared to the metric units.

We have some really great wonderings to explore now for the rest of of unit.

We will display these ideas on our wonder wall and children will be able to chose some to investigate that they are curious about.

Voila! Student-driven learning based upon their own wonderings. :) 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Graeme - thanks for another fantastic inquiry! Are your recording sheets available to download anywhere - happy to pay!


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