Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Observation Checklist

I spend a lot of my classtime walking around the room helping and observing students, a great way to do formative assessment in the moment. In the past, I used a checklist to keep track of different things, like who has finished what and were the students on task. During my Assessment and Differentiation class, I decided that my project would be to improve this form so that it could be used during project based learning activities to assess many different areas.

My internet search provided me with a lot of individual checklists; and while they listed excellent skills to assess, I wanted a whole-class form. In the end, I am back to the same format I used to use, however I now have a more specific purpose for the form. Each day I will decide what I want to assess such as specific content skills, on-task behavior, who finishes when (for differentiation purposes), who works independently without a lot of support, who answers others questions, and who asks a lot of questions. My main means of documentation will be a 1,2,3 rating system, though I could also use codes to help me distinguish if the off-task behavior was for talking (T), or paying too much attention to others (B), or maybe they didn't understand what to do (U). For the 1.2,3 rating system, 1 is the learning stage, 2 is the practicing stage and 3 is automatic stage. In the short class periods I have, I was given the advice to mark the 1's and 3's first, and everyone else is a 2.
21st Century skills can more easily be assessed if I list them on my checklist. Ultimately, as I learn more specifics about my classes, I can provide for differentiated assignments based on what data I am collecting with this checklist. Even though I am a specials teacher and see 20 classes a week, this checklist can easily be adapted for use in the classroom to assess all the skills mentioned above, plus many more. If you would like to try this checklist, you may download it here.


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