Sunday, October 31, 2010

Assessment 1

Date: 26 October 2010
Venue: Math  Room, usual venue
Topic: Initative-Assessment
Schedule of activities:
  • Assessment-Interactive lecture
  • Area is 5
  • Break
  • Frameworks - workbook task, word problems
  • Home sweet home
Dr Yeap worked out something like a concept/mind map from the probing questions he posed to us  -the whys, the hows, the whens and the whats of assessment.
Some of the key words raised were 'reliability', 'validity', 'affective outcomes', 'cognitive outcomes', 'designing instruments', 'data collection' and ' data analysis' besides some others.
Assessment is a 2-part process, firstly collecting the data and secondly interpreting the data. From the test items, the facility and discrimination index can be worked out. Teaching leads to assessment and there must be continual assessment during the learning process and not at the end.
                                     Apply                          Develop



Dr Yeap then did the 'Area is 5' activity when geoboards and paper grids were given to the groups to come up with as many different possible areas of 5, assuming that one square grid represents one square unit. There were many interesting solutions offered and Dr Yeap himself was given a STAR(heh! heh!) for his contribution of a square(diamond) area. This was an interesting activity and one that can be easily replicated in the classroom when teaching area.
During the break, my group had a conversation with Dr Yeap on the challenges teaching pupils from Pathlight school and the role Dr Yeap has in the school.
After the break, we were shown how a simple workbook activity can be used to stretch the thinking processes of  pupils in a P2 class when doing subtraction questions, for eg, 2356 - 98, can be worked out quickly by subtracting 100 from 2356 to get 2256 and then adding 2 to the answer to get 2258. Other somewhat similar questions were also discussed and the pupils can use the space on the page to come up with their own question using the quick addition/subtraction method.
The last activity was 'Word Problems'. There was a sigh when the question was flashed as many teachers (especially those who don't teach Upper Primary MAth) are wary of how difficult the questions can be. Dr Yeap explained the Newman 6-step strategy on how/why some pupils find Word Problems challenging.
(1) reading difficulty- can't read, can't understand the question
(2) can read but cannot understand the question
(3) lack of knowledge of strategies to solve the questions
(4) cannot transform the story to the bar model
(5) cannot use the right strategies
(6) do not fit the answer/computation to the solution

Dr Yeap then proceeded to ask probing questions while at the same time breaking down the problem into simple parts with part-whole model drawing. The difficult was made simple.
Another enjoyable session. Am somewhat mentally drained after each Math lesson. But it is a good learning process to hone my skills and knowledge to become a better Math teacher.

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