ST1.5: Students demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments and express their conclusions through elaborated explanations of their thinking.
Self Assessment Score: 3
Found within our curriculum, are inquiry based units of study where performance-based assessments are used to give students opportunities to build strategies that allow them to complete projects, solve problems, and then defend how and why they made their choices. Students are challenged to use STEAM literacies and vocabulary in their defense. This defense can be in the form of a presentation, drawing, model, notebook, or journal. Our strength is in our use of rubrics and student presentations of their work. We continue to see growth in the use of journals, both written and electronic, as a means of reflection of student work. We still need to work on the rigor of our presentations and the degree to which they are able to defend their thinking. More work needs to be done in creating opportunities in our classrooms for this to occur.
In the Spring of 2019, students in 5th grade began a new project in place of the typical Science Fair. Science Fairs are one and done, but The Invention Convention is a continuous cycle of learning. After students conducted research and built their model with the Engineering Design Process, they studied and learned about patents as well as explored entrepreneurship skills. They were given the task to invent something that no one had thought of before or tweak something that had already been invented, build a model, and present their model to the class using a creative backboard. They had the choice to work individually or to work collaboratively with a group. Our teachers created a rubric to use for assessing. The projects were completed at home with check-in days throughout the cycle. Once completed, ADE hosted an Invention Convention inviting parents, teachers, and community to come see their projects and hear their presentations. Here is a link to an invention video. Here is a link to a report from our local newspaper, The Item, about the Invention Convention at ADE.
The use of Foss Kits in classrooms makes hands-on learning available to all of our students. In third grade students study rocks, minerals and earth surfaces. In second grade students discover the properties of matter. They work in groups to conduct inquiry studies and present their findings to the class.
Rubrics are used across grade levels and disciplines to allow students to assess their work. The purpose of the rubrics are so students will know ahead of time exactly how they will be assessed at the completion of the project, writing, or assignment. During Writer’s Workshop students in two fourth grade classrooms were given a rubric to assess their writing. They were then taken up and assessed by the teacher and returned to the students. The students were then asked to correct their papers and resubmit. They were also given the opportunity to discuss their mistakes and share in groups and whole class what they discovered about their paper. A variety of rubrics are used across grade levels and disciplines.
The Related Arts Department at ADE supports and encourages the 5 C’s of STEAM. In Art, our students are encouraged to be creative and participate in opportunities to showcase their work outside of school. This year we had several students receive awards at the County Fair and one student won the overall art contest for the eSTEAM festival. Her artwork will soon be on display on a local billboard. During Art class, they are learning Art History and are researching famous artists. They apply those techniques to their own work. In Music, they are learning to read music and play a variety of instruments; including the recorders and ukulele. Fourth and fifth graders researched the history of ukuleles, how to make them, and how to tune them. Younger children are currently working on ear training, music theory, and pitch. All of our students were given the opportunities to participate in Winter Spectacular and Spring Fling which includes Music, Art, and Drama. The PE teacher focuses strongly on collaboration, communication, and community. He offers choice in the gym. Recently he taught a bowling unit and incorporated some Math skills when the students had to keep their own score, as well as science skill with force and motion. Our STEAM Lab, Computer Lab, and Library teachers work collaboratively to support the Project Lead the Way curriculum.
Our students have opportunities to present, clarify, elaborate on and defend their thinking to others in and outside of school using technology. Flipgrid is a digital medium that allows our students to create and share short videos. These videos can be shared with their teacher, peers, family, and community. SeeSaw allows for communication with parents and is an online portfolio. The students love to create videos in SeeSaw for presenting information to the class, as a reflection tool, or just to share their opinions on a topic. Conversations can also take place online from student to student or back and forth between student and teacher to elaborate on or clarify their thinking.