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Discussion: Developing and discussing classroom assessment strategies

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posted by: Jerry Valadez on March 8, 2000 at 9:07PM
subject: Formative Assessment in K-6 Science Classrooms: A Working Model
Formative Assessment in Science Classrooms.

Responding to the need for a formative assessment strategy that would
support the implementation of FOSS district-wide, the Fresno LSC Science
staff developed the SEAS (Science Embedded Assessment System). Now in our
5th year, the program requires all 2,600 K-6 teachers from the districts' 64
elementary sites to turn in at least 1 embedded assessment packet from one
FOSS module. The assessment packets, developed by Science Office staff, use
the embedded assessments from the FOSS curriculum. In some cases the
assessments were enhanced to reflect developmental appropriateness and
validity. Scoring rubrics developed by lead teachers used a 1-4 rating to
measure level of mastery to the key concepts in each module. Using an
intricate system to assure reliability and validity, summer scoring
institutes are held each summer to score the 80,000 student samples
submitted. This assessment is used along with other classroom assessments,
some still in development, including portfolios, student made graphic
organizers, journals, and assessments of academic language embedded in the
FOSS program. One of the most profound outcomes has been the ability of
teachers to recognize student learning by examining extensively other
student work. Our results are included in each annual report.

SEAS Training Now Offered to Interested Districts
Responding to the great interest by other districts to use the SEAS, the
Fresno LSC now offers a "Trainer of Trainers" institute for lead
administrators and/or teachers. The institute will be held July 17 to 21,
2000, in Fresno. Participants will have the opportunity to learn the
process of scoring, calibrating, and assuring reliability. The institute
will also include the "live" scoring of assessments. Participation by teams
from districts is encouraged to learn all necessary roles and how to develop
their own SEAS. Although designed and ready to use for FOSS, districts
using other programs can also learn how to develop a specific SEAS for their
own curriculum needs. Training materials, calibration sets, and assessment
packets are included with registration. For more detailed information and
related costs please contact Gladys Martin at (gemarti @

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