on March 6, 2000
My name is Janie West and I am the Professional Development Coordinator for
the ASSET (Academic Success for Students and Educators Together) project in
Southwest Virginia. We are in the first year of our project and are
currently implementing the first science modules in grades K-2.
Workshops for Summer 2000 will add the second module for grades K-2 and
the first one for grades 3-5. At this time, our curriculum consists of a
mix of STC, Insights and FOSS modules. Initially, faculty are using the
assessments provided with the modules. We plan to provide K-5 faculty with
sessions addressing alternative methods of assessment during summer module
training. An "Assessments" workshop with Francis "Bud" Alder is scheduled
for our Science Support Teachers (SSTs) in late April. The SSTS will
assist project faculty in providing professional development for the K-5
faculty in alternative methods of assessment.
A long-range goal of our project is to develop assessments for the new
curriculum modules that assess students' understanding of important science
concepts as well as their ability to apply them. We realize that a good
system of formative assessment is crutial to student success and ultimately
to the success of the project.
Standing in the shadows of high-stakes, state testing, we too are
concerned about how to encourage our faculty to move from traditional
assessments which emphasize memorization to assessments that measure student
learning and understanding of science concepts. What kind of support and
encouragement must we provide?