Sunday, December 9, 2012
Projects and Performance Assessments- MS Sunday Funday
This week we are talking about projects and/or performance assessments in the math class.
I personally love these, but think they are hard to truly do. Why are they hard? Because I feel so rushed, so stressed about "getting it all in". So stressed by a data driven district.
I am trying though. I guess I think of it as baby steps.
Last year, at the end of my first year in middle (after 17 years in elementary, I might add), I wanted to do a project because I was so bored from teaching worksheets. I found, this great project online, The Million Dollar Project.
We spend several weeks on it and I know the students enjoyed it. It was tough though. I thought the kids did a poor job on it. They did the research, they spent the money, but the quality of work was awful. I will definitely do it again this year, but I also know I will set it up differently. Last year I didn't really give them the exact expectations. Live and learn right?
We use CScope in our district and I have noticed that they have incorporated a project for the last six weeks. When I have time, I will be investigating this to see if its worthwhile.
I also follow thenumbertwentyone blog and she is incredible. She does what I feel like is a ton of these. I recently completed her Unit Rates Performance Assessment. I changed it a bit to use "thanksgiving" food instead of BBQ, but it was the same thing. I used it with my Math Lab kids. These kids struggle in math and that is why they are in a math lab. They worked really hard and I love how rigorous it was.
Back to Cscope: They do try and incorporate what they call "Performance Assessments" in the plans, but we haven;t quite mastered how to use this in our class. We did one at the beginning of the year, it was difficult, but it should us a lot. Again, I will use it again, but format it differently.
A few posts ago, I shared an activity I made from a worksheet into a performance assessment. My plan was to use it the week before Christmas, but due to testing, we are behind. We will be completing it the week we return. I think it will be a great way to get back in the swing of things after being off for two plus weeks.
You can get it for free here.
The Christmas version here.
I also might add, we grade projects and performance assessments as major grades. Its a lot of work and students deserve to get as much credit for it as possible,