One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that I still teach every day. I get to interact with kids on a different level and it forces me to continually grow and reflect on my pedagogy. The first unit I have been working on has been on forces and motion. Today was our first check for understanding…summative assessment or TEST DAY if you will. Students were asked to demonstrate their understanding on the topics we have covered thus far.
We took 4 periods to construct our “marble tracks”…that’s 3 hours! Kid time (in school) is kind of like dog years, so those 3 hours are really equivalent to 9 hours. The class was fully engaged the entire time, colloboarting, problem solving and applying all the concepts we have learned to date. As the teacher, I was able to get the feedback I need to move on. I know that every student in our class has a complete understanding of the concepts and is ready to move on.
The kids knew it was a “test” and a chance to show what they knew and had learned, but not once did they ask what their mark was. It’s a good thing too, because I was not grading the project…merely checking their learning.
Was it summative?
Did it matter?
Not one bit.
I know the kids learned the material. They enjoyed showing off what they had learned. To me, that is a great day.