Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Alternative Assessments


I have been a math teacher for most of my career, which means that the majority of my assessments have been tests and quizzes. As I have had to teach a few other subjects (which are out of my comfort zone) I have started using some assessments (which are also out of my comfort zone). Some of these assessments are obvious, like when I teach technology, I don't give tests, I give projects. But when I started teaching middle school Bible classes and a history class or two, I started branching out. I started doing things like papers and summaries. Then I went crazy and assigned a speech, and then once (for Bible) I did my first skit.

I was doing all sorts of cool "professional" teachery stuff like making rubrics! (Which I still feel like I am mispronouncing.... Is it even a real word?!? I don't know.)

A couple of days ago I got to thinking about this whole thing. I mean, sure, they are different, they can be fun for everyone, but I am selling them short? Does preparing for a speech or writing a paper bring about the same level of challenge as a ... should I say... cold hard test?

Life still gives you tests. My question is, "should the teacher?"

I know that this blog is called the "Confident Teacher" but I am not feeling too confident about this. So, to help me out with this little question, I (very quickly) created a little survey to get some input from the people that would actually know the answer to this question. So please, please fill out this little form. Pass it around to your teacher friends.

(Send them this link:

Any questions I should add?

If I get a good number of responses, I will post a link to the results in a few days.

1 comment:

  1. I wrote a series of posts about assessment. They might be helpful as you reflect on this issue and continue to improve your practice.




    I applaud your efforts here and more importantly your honesty about how you are feeling as a teacher.