Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sandwiches, Science, and Authentic Assessment

We're on the count down to the end of the school year here in Japan, which means lots of portfolio organization and skills assessment. Mother Goose Time assessment resources make this process relatively painless, and actually fun for both teachers and students. I have a wide range of developmental levels in one classroom, from toddler to pre-primary. The daily activities are easily differentiated for the varying skill levels without me having to put a ton of extra work in. My favorite kind of activities are ones that provide opportunities to assess multiple skills across domains and allow for lots of child creativity in the process.

My principal joked with me today, that every time I come to the office, I share about "the cutest art project" EVERY day. It's pretty much true, though. We are on cute-ness overload daily. 

There's the "sandwich project" in which the children were given pre-cut paper bread pieces and asked to create their favorite kind of sandwich. This is a bit of a tricky question for preschoolers in Japan, because sandwiches are not eaten nearly as often here as in the US. But, their creativity and individual tastes reflected in the final final products really impressed me. I took it a step further and added a literacy component with it. Students either composed or dictated a sentence about their favorite sandwich and we glued it to their picture. I was about to assess fine motor, language, letter knowledge, concept of print, and sequencing all in a relatively short amount of time in the context of one activity. 

We "planted" beans in a zip lock bag and recorded the observations on day one of the science sheet provided. I encourage them to write words or a sentence about their drawing. This activity really challenged them to use good listening skills for following directions as well as complex vocabulary. Math skills ranged from counting 1:1 with 2 beans to counting all the beans by 2. We may have to do some later redistribution of beans that are actually sprouting so nobody feels sad about the rotten beans that got a little too much water.  

Both of these projects will go into the end-of-year portfolio that is given to parents at closing ceremony on the last day of school. It's always fun for me to go back to projects I put in at the beginning of the year to see how their skills have grown and developed. 

No comments:

Post a Comment