Assessment and Differentiation - Assignment Example

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Assessment and Differentiation University Name Assessment and Differentiation For this assignment, I chose to analyze a high school lesson on the importance of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, this lesson focuses on the founding fathers of America and the basis by which they wrote the Constitution, and how that document has remained largely unchanged to this day…
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Assessment and Differentiation Assessment and Differentiation For this assignment, I chose to analyze a high school lesson on the importance of the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, this lesson focuses on the founding fathers of America and the basis by which they wrote the Constitution, and how that document has remained largely unchanged to this day. The lesson begins with an activity to engage students in the learning process be asking them something of modern relevance to them. To illustrate how influential the Constitution is, students are asked to create a list of the most influential books, movies, and television shows today. This is their opinion, of course, and they are encouraged to share their list with the class. This is a differentiated activity because it engages students by asking them questions that related specifically to them. It is often difficult to get students interested in history and traditional concepts, so by relating something in the past to something in the present in an effective strategy to get students involved. The instructional material for this class focuses on the historical events surrounding the drafting of the Constitution. The Founding Fathers also had certain influencers in their lives, and those certainly contributed to the actual text found in the document that remains with us today. The instruction takes place via lecture, group work, and class conversations. Every aspect of the class relates directly to the assessment that is to follow at the conclusion of the unit. One objective of the lesson is to get students to examine the writings that influenced the Founding Fathers. Students are also encouraged to compare the writings during the age of the Founding Father to that of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Another objective is to engage the class in indentifying the influence that specific thinkers had on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Finally, students are also asked to analyze personal writing and ideas, in addition to identifying the influence of specific thinkers. Each of the stated objectives directly relate to the following assessment. Students are asked to examine 2 or 3 different writings from the Founding Fathers. In addition, they read through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In doing so, they are to identify certain sections that have similar ideas as those presented in the passages that they were assigned. This is beginning of the assessment. Having discovered the similarities and differences between the ideas contained in each of the writings, when compared with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, students are asked to assemble a report to share with the class. This part of the assessment is graded. Students are expected to support their arguments with factual evidence, and combine that with material previously discussed in class. The assessment directly aligns with the essential knowledge, understanding, and skills mentioned in the targeted learning outcomes. From the outset of the lesson, students are asked to consider the various influences in our life that often dictate our way of thinking and our ideology. In doing this, the targeted learning outcomes contained in the assessment were made absolutely clear to the students. Everything done in class through this lesson lead up to the actual assessment, so students were made aware of their expectations every step of the way. This particular assessment works and it is probably a best practice for a lesson of this sort. This is due to the fact that the lesson itself contains no information to memorize, so an assessment testing rote knowledge would not be beneficial. Instead, the lesson is centered on promoting creative and critical thinking skills, which the assessment is designed to allow students to demonstrate. It is certainly a fair sample of material discussed in class as all of the readings from the time of the Founding Fathers were discussed in class leading up to the assessment. This assessment, in addition to being a differentiated type lesson, emphasizes the key points covered during the unit. Students can use this information because, as high school students, they need to be aware of what they read and watch on television influences the decisions and choices they make in life. The assessment affords each student in the class the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to make connections between what we read and decisions that we make. They do this by dissecting passages contained in influential writings and relating that back to the text contained in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This also affords the teacher to provide focused and direct instruction to the students, as the objectives are clearly stated and the students understand what is expected of them. Such focused instruction and assessments can only serve to benefit the students in the long run (Sousa & Tomlinson, 2011). Reference Sousa, D. A. & Tomlinson, C. A. (2011). Differentiation and the brain: How neuroscience supports the learner-friendly classroom. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press. Read More
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