Admittedly, I have a problem with assessment. Luckily, my school is going through formative assessment training right now. Knowing this is one of my weaknesses, “FIP Fridays” have been well worth the time. This week mineral formation was the topic of the assessment. As educators, in this time of multiple timed assessments, we are almost coerced to believe that an assessment must be paper/pencil or if the technology allows, the digital version of this.
Assessment is about understanding where the student is on their learning voyage and then using that information to propel your instruction. This is a concept that seems as if it would be common sense but for me, I am just starting to embrace the full ramification of what you can do with this data and all that assessment can be.
Enter this week’s assessment on mineral formation. Starting with the traditional paper/pencil test (in digital form on schoology), the grades were okay, not impressive. Part 2 of the assessment involved a two stage process. The students described the three different ways in which minerals can form and then created models of each. They could choose to make models in one of two ways, with actual LEGO sets that sit on their desk daily or an amazing site from Google. Build with Chrome is a powerful FREE site that allows you to construct anything with LEGO on a basic building plate. Students can change the colors, change the bricks, the possibilities are endless. Students were equally divided choosing the LEGO sets and Build. The results were amazing. There was a quiet hum throughout the room as they went about their work. Their understanding of the concept was spot on. I should also point out that this was a quest for the Science game were are currently involved in playing. It was a great Friday in the Middle!