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Using Multiple Assessments to Evaluate Student Learning in the Social Studies


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Title: Using Multiple Assessments to Evaluate Student Learning in the Social Studies

Using Multiple Assessments to Evaluate Student
Learning in the Social Studies
  • Lee-Anne T. Spalding, Ed. D.
  • Chapin, R. (2009). Elementary Social Studies A
    Practical Guide 7th Edition. Pearson Boston, MA.

Testing Definitions
  • Assessment- the process for gathering information
    about student learning (most common example-
    paper and pencil tests)
  • Evaluation- the judgments and interpretations on
    how well students have achieved (common examples-
    letter grades A,B,C and rankings Satisfactory,
    Unsatisfactory Demonstrated, Not Demonstrated
  • Testing- the procedure for gathering data to
    check is learning objectives have been achieved
  • Value Added Assessment- refers to proficiency or
    achievement at years end and growth or progress
    on end of the year tests (NCLB AYP)

Purpose of Assessing/Testing
  • Check to see if the objectives have been
  • EXPERTS suggest that teachers
  • Determine if standards/objectives have been met
  • Use multiple measures to assess student
  • Use assessment to guide instruction
  • Make formative evaluations (throughout)
  • Make summative evaluations (end of unit-compare
    to pre- test)
  • EXPERTS worry-
  • Poor teaching practices that teach to the test
  • Drill and Kill instruction
  • Cheating

Federal and State Roles in Testing
  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Biggest education reform act in a quarter century
  • Passed House (381-41) and Senate (87-10)
  • All schools were to be held to high, measurable
    standards to increase student achievement for all
    groups these standards set by individual states
  • Broad accountability testing to take place in
    grades 3-8 (FCAT)
  • Failing schools faced serious sanctions (ie.
    Vouchers, replacement of staff, converting to
    charter status)
  • Revised

  • Created by the state of Florida as required by
  • Will cease to exist in FL in 2014 but will be
    replaced by another high-stakes test
  • High stakes/standards based testing- rewards and
    penalties directed at
  • Students- promotion/retention
  • Administrators- loss of job or a transfer
  • Districts- State could take direct control over
    school or district

Interesting Take on NCLB
  • This is the football version of what is going on
    in education right now. For all educators in and
    out of the education system
  • All teams must make the state playoffs and all
    MUST win the championship If a team does not win
    the championship, they will be on probation until
    they are the champions, and coaches will be held
    accountable. If after two years they have not won
    the championship their footballs and equipment
    will be taken away UNTIL they do win the
  • All kids will be expected to have the same
    football skills at the same time, even if they do
    not have the same conditions or opportunities to
    practice on their own. NO exceptions will be made
    for lack of interest in football, a desire to
    perform athletically, or genetic abilities or
    disabilities of themselves or their parents. ALL
  • Talented players will be asked to workout on
    their own, without instruction. This is because
    the coaches will be using all their instructional
    time with the athletes who aren't interested in
    football, have limited athletic ability or whose
    parents don't like football.
  • Games will be played year round, but statistics
    will only be kept in the 4th, 8th, and 11th game.
    This will create a New Age of Sports where every
    school is expected to have the same level of
    talent and all teams will reach the same minimum
    goals. If no child gets ahead, then no child gets
    left behind. If parents do not like this new law,
    they are encouraged to vote for vouchers and
    support private schools that can screen out the
    non-athletes and prevent their children from
    having to go to school with bad football players.

  • National Assessment of Educational Progress
  • Mandated by Congress since 1969
  • Measures student growth criterion based
  • Large samples of American students tested in
    grades 4, 8, 12
  • Results generalized to the entire nation
  • Shows the strengths and weaknesses of American
    students Nations Report Card
  • Two NAEP assessments- one does cover SS the
    other covers reading,writing, math and science
  • http//

Performance Based Assessment
AKAAuthentic Assessment
  • One example
  • Portfolio- file or folder of student work
    collected over time
  • Elements
  • Learner goals or objectives
  • Guidelines for selecting student work (Teacher
  • Table of Contents
  • Work Samples (chosen by teacher and student)
  • Multiple assessments (tests)/evaluations

Paper and Pencil Tests
Types of
  • Short answer
  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • T/F or binary
  • MUST align with instructional objectives
  • Often not teacher created but prepared tests that
    accompany the adopted text

Informal Evaluations
Types of
  • Students answering questions
  • Student self-evaluation/reflection
  • Questionnaire
  • Learning Log- What more could I learn?
  • Games
  • Jeopardy
  • Twenty Questions
  • IWB games
  • Observation (most common and used)
  • Class or small group discussion
  • Oral reports, presentations, role play,
    dramatizations, etc

Conferences, Open House, Grades and Report Cards
Grades and Report Cards
  • Typically A-F different point scales exist
  • Three to Four grading periods each include a
    progress report and report card
  • Sample report card or just discuss latest SCPS
    version narrative to extremely general
  • Learning goals and scales used in class scales
    of 1-4.
  • 1minimal understanding 2sort of 3got it and
    4advanced understanding
  • LEVEL THREE is considered mastery!

How would you create a friendly environment for
Open House?
  • Have a nice, clean classroom.
  • Have class projects displayed around the
  • Have student-made books on the bookshelves in the
    reading center.
  • Have a DVD slideshow of the students engaging in
    everyday class activities.
  • Have an agenda on the students desk for the
    parents to read.
  • Have snacks for the parents set up at a table.
  • Have a my family bulletin board of students and
    their various family members.

What would you share with parents at Open House?
  • Show daily schedule. (Classroom Scavenger Hunt)
  • List your classroom rules and expectations.
  • Give brief personal background and education.
  • Communicate the goals for the year.
  • Share some fun activities planned for the year.
    Have sign up sheets for conferences, email
  • Show work that students have done (class book or
    a video of what they do (with signed parental
  • Have an information board or classroom website
  • Leave some time for questions.
  • Give an explanation of teaching methods.

How would you speak to parents? What would you
  • Use formal English with a friendly tone.
  • Dont talk down to parents.
  • Be prepared with ideas and information.
  • Dress professionally
  • -no revealing/tight clothing (low cleavage,
    short skirts)
  • -functional shoes
  • -no visible tattoos or body piercings
  • -wear appropriate jewelry, makeup, hairstyles

How would you prepare for a conference?
  • Prepare ahead of time. Complete conference form
    in advance with topics needing to be discussed.
  • Practice what you will say. (Sandwich technique)
  • Gather evidence students work, favorite
    activity, etc.
  • Prepare your conference setting (adult chairs)

What would you share with parents at a
  • Childs progress - academic, physical, social
  • Childs behavior (sandwich technique- good, bad,
  • Childs daily routine and examples of work
  • Introduce new and upcoming curriculum and events.
  • Discuss parents and your own concerns, comments,
  • Provide at home activities to foster learning and
    growth in the childs problem areas.

How should you share difficult information with
parents? Example The child is retained.
  • Hold regular conferences with at-risk childrens
    parents so they are not surprised.
  • Provide documentation and examples of the
    students work
  • Have another professional present.
  • It should definitely be a face-to-face
  • Provide information for the parents on the
    positive effects.
  • Provide the parent with information on how to

Meet the Teacher Poem
  • As sugar and flour come together to make A
    wonderful cookie creation that you bake, Parents
    and teachers join as one To create an educated
    daughter or son. It takes lots of love, caring
    and understanding But an individual will emerge
    who is special notwithstanding. We will work
    together to help each child bloom So they can
    grow and prosper as they learn in this room. So
    I share this little confection with you as I say
    I am committed to helping your child grow each
    and every day. Yes, the road is long, but the
    journey's begun As we strive together to educate
    your daughter or your son.
  • This year I am going to put a baggie with 2
    cookies in it on the desk for the parents with
    the following poem

Open House Scavenger Hunt
  • Please complete the following scavenger hunt
  • 1. Find your childs seat and leave them a note
    to be read in the morning.
  • 2. Find 3 pieces of your childs work in our
  • 3. Please sign up for a conference time and
    record it.
  • 4. Find the calendar and look at all of the
    activities we do. Ask your child to sing the
    Months of the Year song when you get home.
  • 5. Find the classroom number and write it on the
    line provided 407- ______________
  • 6. Please find the Giving Tree and take an apple
    for anything youd be willing to donate to our
  • Thank you for coming! ?