Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Becky Fritz Summative Assessment Project

Summative Assessment Project: Evolution

Thorough Description of the project

Goal:  Students will demonstrate their understanding of natural selection by applying it to a fictitious scenario called ‘Rat Island’.   

Assignment:  Create a tutorial that explains how organisms have variations that cause them to adapt to their changing environments over long periods of time to produce offspring with beneficial adaptations and result in the survival of future generations.

Step 1: Complete the summative assessment evolution questions in Notability or using the Docs app.  

Step 2: Plan/practice your video tutorial using the storyboard provided. The storyboard is used to help you organize the content of your video (picture, video, narration, text) in chronological order. The storyboard will serve as a timeline to organize the sequence of events. Brainstorm ways to make your presentation unique and exciting.  You want to engage the learner that is watching your video!

Your tutorial should:
  1. introduce the rat you created for either island A or island B and
  2. answer the final two questions:
    1. (8) Apply information about adapting over time to explain how these traits (choose at least two) would help with the survival of the rat.  Use what you’ve learned about  natural selection to support your answer.  
    2. (9)Discuss how the environment selected for advantageous traits and deselected traits that are disadvantageous?  Note:  Use the four steps of Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection in your discussion of  both advantageous and disadvantageous traits.
  3. include images, your narration (explanation) answering the questions, and your manipulation of the screen (draw on the screen, move images around, etc).  Remember that you are creating a tutorial so you are teaching someone else.  
  4. be less than 2 minutes long and be created in the whiteboard app of your choosing.

Step 3:  Collect and edit the items in the media list boxes of your storyboard.  Save the images to your camera roll.  Make sure to keep track of the sources of your images (in your Notes app, on a Google Doc) because you’ll be (citing) adding them to the last frame of your tutorial.

Step 4:  Create your tutorial with the whiteboard app of your choosing (Vidra, Explain Everything, EduCreations).  Make sure to insert your images and record a narration for each slide.  

Step 5: Paste the link to your video (if using EduCreations) or upload your completed video to the assignment in Google Classroom to turn in.

Standards Addressed

Unit:  Evolution

Hopkins Power Standard:
  • The student will explain how biological adaptations in structure, function, and behavior enhance the reproductive success and survival of a species.

MN State Standard:  Recognize that variation exists in every population and describe how a variation can help or hinder an organism’s ability to survive.

(IB) Statement of Inquiry:
Organisms have variations that cause them to adapt to their changing environments over long periods of time to produce offspring with beneficial adaptations and result in the survival of future generations.

Description of How It is Authentic Assessment

“[Authentic Assessment is] a form of assessment in which students are asked to perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.” -- Jon Mueller

This assignment is an authentic assessment because the students are being asked to complete real-world tasks that other scientists would work on.  They’re applying their knowledge of natural selection to a new scenario, not unlike what a scientist would do in the field.  They are also asked to explain their understanding of the topic in a screencast, this is part of an authentic assessment.  In addition, the student-choice involved with the assessment, as well as the creation piece, all work to make this a more authentic performance-based assessment and not a traditional one.

Personal Reflection

Over the course of this assessment class I have grown.  My understanding of authentic assessments has changed and I am better able to understand how it connects to the backwards planning, which is how we are supposed to be planning with IB in our junior high building.  I also have learned the importance of planning the summative first and then looking for the formatives that will support my assessment. I was able to create more authentic formative assessments for my evolution unit because that was the summative assessment that I created (for this class).  

I also have more respect for rubrics!  This course has really reinforced how important rubrics are and how a good rubric will show a clear path about how to get to the next step.  My rubrics are often ‘afterthoughts’ and created after I’ve already written the directions for the assessment. This course reminded me about how powerful a well thought-out rubric is and how important it is to begin with that. 

I struggled (always struggle) to find appropriate, authentic rubrics for projects that integrate technology. They're often specific to certain apps, programs like 'Twitter' or 'Podcasting' when I want a more general rubric to address the technology skills that the students are utilizing. I found that this was a great resource for creating rubrics for digital assessments from EdTechTeacher. I also loved this blog post about how to create an authentic, student-directed assessment about tutorials called "Students as Teachers: 6th Grade Tutorial Designers" by Kim Cofino. She is so smart about how to approach tutorials in your classroom: have the students watch several and create their own rubric before they start their project. Then, after they create their tutorials, they reflect on the experience. If I have time next year I will definitely be following a similar approach the first time I teach tutorials!

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