Archive for September, 2011

Improve Speaking Fluency With Formative Assessment -Presentation Notes

Improve Speaking Fluency With Formative Assessment
Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D

Importance of Speaking:

Reasons for increasing the amount of student speaking in the classroom:

Formative Assessment (Tuttle, 2011): The process of helping students to immediately move forward from their present diagnosed learning to the expected learning.

Formative Assessment process:

Student response → Monitor → Diagnose → Give feedback → Time to incorporate feedback →

Re-assess → Celebrate success

Formative assessment create a culture of success, of constant improvement

Base speaking on ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines

Focus on language functions, not topics, such as socialize, ask questions, persuade, …

Use peer assessment to maximize assessment

Provide speaking assessment for fluency: Identify the specific language function and level.

Frequent short assessments that provide immediate feedback

Do a peer assessment in groups of two

Supply multiple strategies for speaking improvement for a language function

Narrate – Identify three strategies for describing what is happening in a visual

1

2

3

 

Have different speaking formative assessments:
1 Narrate a visual
2 Ask and answer questions – Walk
3 Tell preferences – 3×5 cards
4 Tell a story – Image
5 Give info -Ws
6 Mystery/Gap – Visuals
7 Provide rich details – Fluency +Variety


Resources:

Tuttle, H. G. (2012). Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment

Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education. Description of book: http://wp.me/p262R-z0. Website:

Tuttle, H. G. (2009). Formative Assessment: Responding to Students. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education. Website:

Teachers Pay Teachers. (Website of Teacher Created Resources -with some speaking activities I ‘ve made) http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ Search for Harry Tuttle

English Essays – Grade or Assess? Done or Keep on Improving?

Today I returned my English students first essay. In my formative assessment manner,  I carefully explained that I want them to improvement in their writing during the course and to do so, I had to identify what they have done well and what they need to improve. Í  reminded them that the rubric  checklist has a plus (+) for doing well, a question mark (?) for inconsistent  work, and negative (-) for needs improvement.  I marked 20+ items on their checklist.  I did not give them a grade like a B since the grade tells them nothing about what they did well or have to improve in.  I also explained that, for each student,  I have identified the three areas that will lead to the greatest improvement. I stressed that I expect to see improvement in those three areas on the next essay.  They copied these three improvement areas on an Essay Improvement sheet that they will hand in with their next essay.  I explained that I will provide new strategies for those  learning gaps demonstrated by the greatest number of students at the beginning of each class.   More ideas are in my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

How do you help your students  to continually  improve?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Smartphone -1 Computer -0 Speed of Getting to Material

I have been using Smartphone / Mobile Learning for the semester in my Spanish class.   The class does meet in a computer lab.  However, the other day, the power of mobile learning and QR codes  shone.  I offered students the opportunity to do an activity on the smartphone or on the computer. The students who used the Smartphone & QR code were on the site and most had completed the  short activity before  the computer students had even logged on the network.  The computer students had to turn on the Windows machine before doing the log in.  The more time we save on getting to material in the classroom , the more time there is for learning.

An additional speed benefit of Mobile Learning /Smartphone and QR codes is that students do not incorrectly  type in the URL (Http://…)  even when I have shortened the url.  When students mistype the url, they have to retype it. Again, wasted class time.

How do you use Smartphones/ Mobile Learning to Speed up getting to learning materials?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Constant Peer Review on the Same Essay Improves Student Writing

I  teach a college composition course.  We spend much time in peer reviewing (probably 70% of class time) in a formative assessment process. Today the students had their 6th peer review on the same “essay” and we are just up to doing  three body paragraphs.  I asked my students to do a questionnaire on the process we use.  About 15% said that they did not peer review in their high school English classes.  Of those they did peer review, they stated that peer review  focused on grammar, spelling and punctuation. As one student said of our process,  “we  focus on changing idea.”  Most students (80%) had not had more than one peer  review their writing; so far we  have had 6 different peers react to their writing.  As one student mentioned “you get a different view and different aspects about your paper from other people ” and “You receive others’ opinions using the same format you used to write it.”  My goal is simple: for students  to constantly improve in their writing.  Formative assessment which focuses on monitoring and giving feedback continually through the process enables students to improve in each aspect of their writing, starting at the pre-writing phase.  A more thorough description of this process is found in my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

How often do your students peer review  each other’s work?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Consistency in learning

Do we have consistency in learning in our classes?  Do we translate our ending goals into daily learning?    Do our tests, quizzes, and daily classroom activities reflect that same learning?  This backward planning follows the Understanding by Design model. For example, if a social studies curriculum wants students to  answer  the universal questions of Why is there war?,  How do people fight wars? and What are the consequences of wars?, then social studies book tests should  not have  students memorize the names and dates of battles for a particular war in a specific country.  That microscopic view does not help students answer the essential questions.

Likewise, if modern language teachers want their students to be able to converse in the target language, then do students spend most of their time in class conversing?  Do the language tests reflect conversations or do these tests focus on discrete grammar and vocabulary?

Do English teachers who want their students to be better writers  really focus on writing?   Do  these teachers spend more  class time on  doing punctuation exercises than on  developing good ideas?  Do they have their  students spend more time watching a movie than writing about the movie?

When teachers  want to improve subject area learning through Web 2.0 tools,  do the students spend more time on the technology or on the content learning?

I do not believe that we need to add more days to the school year to improve student learning.  I believe that we can increase learning  best when we are consistent in what we want students to learn and then following through in our daily activities, in our quizzes and in our tests.

How consistent are you in your students’ learning?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.


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