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Donald Baker EPSY 485 27 November 2012 Formative Assessment Assignment The school setting that will be assumed

for this activity involves a classroom from a fairly large high school. The school has close to 2,000 students. Roughly sixty percent of the students are white. The remaining students are mostly African American, but there are also a few Hispanic and Asian American students in most classes. My classroom mostly reflects these school demographics. For the most part, this school does not mainstream students who have the most serious of special needs into general education classrooms. I do have a few students in my classroom, however who do have IEPs. Among them, there are students who receive accommodations, but there are no students with modifications in my classroom. Otherwise, this class has mostly average students, who are neither on an advanced or remedial track. Their performance in this class is on par with average performance throughout the school. The following will be a formative assessment designed for an eleventh grade classroom. The unit of study is the United States Constitution in a U.S. History class. The enduring understandings of the unit deal with creating lifelong, productive citizens of the United States. One of these essential components is the historical development and evolution of power in the United States. Students will think about this concept by focusing on the essential questions of What goals did the framers of the Constitution have for power distribution in the United States? and How are current people in power in the U.S. different and similar to the figures who crafted the Constitution? Three learning objectives for this are: 1) Students will perceive past events and issues as they were experienced by people at the time, to develop historical empathy as opposed to present-mindedness. 2) Students will determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the

relationships among the key details and ideas. 3) Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole. These objectives address the analysis, application, and evaluation levels of Blooms Revised Taxonomy. The formative assessment that I will use during instruction for this unit is a journaling activity. There are three different writing prompts, and each student will be assigned one of the three to respond to in their journal. They will complete these responses on their own without the use of their notes, but each student will have a copy of the text of the Constitution to which they may refer. Item 1 addresses the first learning objective, and the prompt is The framers of the Constitution initially met to revise the Articles of Confederation. Some of the problems with the Articles included a lack of national currency and centralized military. Put yourself in the shoes of an early American living under the Articles of Confederation and describe the everyday struggles that would be caused by these and other problems with the federal government under the Articles of Confederation, and address how the Constitution helped to fix these problems. This prompt requires the application of material into a real world, empathetic scenario. An answer key for these responses would require that the student note at least one additional problem with the Articles of Confederation, preferably a lack of centralized power or inability to govern interstate commerce and law. The response should also address the parts of the Constitution that fixed these problems, without the need to cite specific sections or amendments. Lastly, the response should address how these problems affected the average person. Item 2 addresses the second learning objective, and the prompt is Take into account the entire text of the First Amendment. Write a journal response that does the following: summarizes the main ideas of the amendment, addresses why the writers of the Constitution felt

it necessary to include this amendment, and tells how you are able to live your daily life differently than someone who is not guaranteed these freedoms. This prompt requires knowledge of the content, analysis of the process that occurred during the writing of the Constitution, and application to each students own life. An answer key for this response would require that a student state that the main point of the First Amendment is the freedom of speech, and they should also name the other freedoms, such as religion and press. The response should also address the history of American colonists dealing with unilateral power and oppression and relate that to the need for guaranteed freedoms. Item 3 addresses the third learning objective, and the prompt is Thinking about the opening articles of the Constitution, how does this large portion of the text contribute to the greater idea of freedom and the U.S. government? What elements of this section of the Constitution are most evident in the structure of our government? This prompt requires that students analyze the text of the Constitution with regard to government structure, and they also must evaluate if and how this document contributes to freedom. An answer key to this prompt would require that a response note the separation of powers as a contributing factor to American freedom, as well as the right to elect our governing officials. A high quality response must also note the three branches of government and explain their structure. Students would be given most of a class period to complete this task. It would be done toward the end of the unit, prior to a comprehensive unit review. This assessment would only be graded for completion and effort, and the students would be told this in order to encourage honest responses. The accommodation of additional time will be given to those students who require it. I chose to make this a journal writing activity to gauge true comprehension and higher order learning in a relaxed setting. It was also structured to have each student respond to one of

three prompts so that I could collect data on a wide range of objectives without overburdening the students. Data would be collected on each response by rating on a 1-3 scale, in which a 2 represents a response that matches each of the elements of the answer key. A 1 or 3 would denote a response that does not meet or exceeds objectives, respectively. Similar scores between the three different prompts would be evident of reliability. High scores on this activity correlating with high unit exam scores would be evident of validity. Each student who fails to meet the objectives would be approached for a one-on-one conference to discuss any confusion. If any objective is not met by a large number of students, that topic would be stressed during the comprehensive unit review, or taught again if necessary. Finally, selected responses will be shared from each of the prompts in order to help each student review and cover all of the possible topics, and we will discuss these exemplary responses as a class.