Journal Entry One
Getting to know your student
Journal Entry One: Knowing your student at the beginning of the school year.
What information does a teacher have about student with special needs before the first day of class?
How much does the teacher rely upon the comments of other teachers when getting to know new students?
If you could know only 2 specific characteristics of each pupil at the end of the first day of class, what would these be? Why?
What information is most useful for managing pupils in the classroom?
Journal Entry Two: Parental Views on Assessments
Are assessments Important?
After discussing with the parents about their feelings regarding assessments, one parent mentioned that they weren’t really sure how the assessments matched up with the standards. When asked why they felt that way she replied that the standards kept getting raised for the students and places them in a lower academic setting where they are no longer challenged. Whereas the one other parent said they were not a big fan of formal assessments because they seem to pigeon hole the student.
Do the assessment reflect student learning accurately?
I then asked the parents if they thought whether the assessments reflected student learning accurately. The first parent said she did not think that it reflected her child’s learning accurately. She said it felt more like the assessment was for the teachers to be held accountable and not so much the student. The assessments put the students in the light of not getting a proper education with many showing at basic or below with the change in the standards. The other parent however had a slightly different view on the value of assessments. The assessments don’t reflect those students that score beyond advance nor are they then challenged enough. Students that score below are those students that have a hard time taking timed test or struggle with reading. She mentioned that these assessments are not adaptive to all learning styles
How can formal assessments be improved? Do you feel that a different method would better assess student achievement? If so, describe this assessment method?
Neither parent was sure how the assessments could be improved. Although one parent mentioned that the MAPS was better at being more adaptive to other learning styles than the WKCE. She also mentioned she pays more attention to the daily class work being done to gauge what her child is capable of doing. She goes on saying that we have proved time and time again that trying to make every student learn in the same way does not work and why we would think standardized assessments would be any different.
The difference in opinions
Determining the Grade
I really like the idea of using the parent survey from the article "Grading Students with Disabilities" by Dennis D. Munk and William D. Bursuck. When informing parents on how the their children are doing, it helps to know what the parents are interested in knowing when it comes to the progress of their children. I think generating a syllabus for the class that list expectations of assignments, test and grading is a great way to inform parents and students. This also creates a paper trail so parents and students can't come back to you later and say that you never mentioned it.