Sally Byrd’s Final Project EDET 637 UBD Lesson Reflection


My linchpin is the “Rules” for Order of Operations. Students must follow the rules to the order of mathematical operations in order to come to the same conclusion as the mathematical world set forth.

My evidence is student work. I gave a pretest that showed the students knew more than I expected. It was too easy and pointless to give it as a post-test. I will make this modification in my lesson plan to make a test that has more challenging problems.   After their first book assignment I modified my unit to a higher level (Algebra). The unit was limited to simple grouping symbols and so I added solving expressions through substitution that used exponents and grouping symbols.

This is the assignment out of their book. You can see the Pre-algebra is a pretty simple “Order of Operations”. This is a typical result of the students’ work from this assignment. It was the first assignment of the unit after the pre-test. The red check marks are made when the student graded their paper. I also corrected the paper and made the green marks. I want the students to see how they did and I wanted to know how they did. I also pay attention to how they grade their paper. Are they doing it correctly or not. This helps me understand the student better.

At this is when I decided that I needed to take the students to a higher level to challenge them. The most incorrect on this assignment that was turned in was three problems.

First trouble I have

You can see they needed to subtract before they add (marked in green), because addition and subtraction are equivalent operations with an addition rule of left to right when you have more than one. The subtraction is to the left of the addition sign.

The next three assignments were from Pizzazz so they have the answers with a pun joke. It is harder to catch the individual errors to make the corrections. I didn’t like how the students were writing notes around the problem. I did appreciate that they took the time to write down a portion of their answer and not trying to remember everything.   These worksheets are great for immediate feedback. The students are trained to look for their answer to make sure they are on track.


The students love these worksheets. They don’t always ask for help when they need it. They just keep trying. I grade these papers too so I can see where they can use assistance with the rules of order.

I realized that I wasn’t getting the full picture of how the students were doing, due to them not writing in the mathematical language. So I switched to creating my own worksheets that provided room to write in the mathematical language. To keep the confidence in the students I provided the answers on the paper where they can be assured of doing the work correctly.


Again, I felt that the students could go a little higher. I decided the answers were now hindering my evaluation of their work. It wasn’t allowing me to see the mistakes that I could discuss with the students.

Up to this point all the students were only missing a problem here or there. Students asked for help when there was an exponent outside the parenthesis and a number in front of the parentheses. For example, 3(4)2, some of the students multiplied 3×4 before using the exponent. I had to show them that the exponent only had the 4 inside and the 3 was a separate entity then the exponent. This was very appropriate for this lesson. The little errors that they are making are different with each student and we need to sort out the errors and correct them. The next time I teach this unit I will be sure to point this out and emphasize that it is a common error that needs to be corrected.

I made the switch to no answer on the worksheets and created a worksheet that gradually move to a higher level of challenge. As a class the students did well on the first six problems and made similar errors on the next set of problems. With the next set of worksheets I did the grading and returned the worksheet back to the students to make corrections. I would use two different color markers to show where the students made their error and a second mark to show if they fixed it or not. My first student that I will follow had made tremendous gains. She took advantage of the individual instructions and corrected the errors.

correct errors

So, here in the picture the first six problems were pretty easy for most of the students.

As we get into the grouping symbols the students weren’t sure what to do with the fractions (#24). After a couple of days of practice and instructions they understood to simplify the fraction before applying the exponent. The students wanted to divide and leave a decimal for an answer. This is an application of learning the fraction bar is a division sign.

This student had shown great growth in her learning. She did a great job writing in the mathematical language, this helped her stay on the right track.

After an assignment I tallied the problems that students were having trouble with. This helped me to see who was having trouble with which problems. I could see how well a student was doing by looking at their graded assignment, but I wanted see which problems were giving them trouble.

evaluation of Order

After I finish grading their papers I write their initials by the problem so I know which ones we can focus on.

On the next assignment, I graded and immediately returned their work to them for corrections. The students were happy to see their own progress and that I had pointed out to them the step that they missed.

corrected errors after evaluation

You can see I graded with blue first and this student had subtracted before dividing. With the mark on the paper she knew she had to divide before subtracting. On the last problem she had to correct she didn’t take care of the parenthesis first.


On the last assignment before our final assessment we focused on simplifying fractions before using the exponents. The two different types confused the students. The first one #11, the fractions can divide down to a 3 and that is cubed and the second one doesn’t come out of the fraction and both numbers have to have the power of 4 applied to it and is left as a fraction.

You can see on her final assessment she was able to do the first one with out assistance. I had graded their paper and either marked it correct or wrong without instructions. The students were allowed to make any corrections they needed to. Most of the students took advantage of this opportunity.

test corrections

When I had returned the test for corrections I did announce for them to remember to simplify your fractions before using your exponents. Several students understood and made the corrections.


The first student had done exceptionally well on her final assessment. She had only missed one problem and was only able to redo the problem half way through before making an error.  She received almost full credit for this work.

When she did her correction she just didn’t simplify her fraction before using the exponent. This is her only error on the final assessment. SUCCESS!

This is the same error as the others. This is an algebra problem and it seems to be the concept that is a bit of a stretch for these students. This reminds me that it is a sign of being in the right place. The students are still challenged and are rising to meet the challenge.

Overall, I am very proud how hard the students worked at conquering this concept.  The start of the unit they weren’t writing in the mathematical language and by the end of the unit they were not just writing in the language, but the 80-95% of the answer were correct at the algebra level.  They rose above the level expected of them and yet when I raise the standard they almost conquered it. In my lesson plans I will expand the lesson to algebra standards and will emphasize simplifying fractions that don’t divide out. I will have more instruction and practice on switching between the two different types of fractions (one simplifies and the other divides out). The Math Antic videos do a great job with pre-algebra order of operations these videos gave us a great launch into the unit.

In the beginning of the unit I had the students play “Rags to Riches” (Who wants to be a millionaire?) game show where they had to complete Order of Operation problems correctly and try to win a million dollars. The students loved trying to win the money. They worked hard to win and were very proud when they did. One of the girls said she went home and played until she won. This game provided great extra practice. This worked well the first three days then I didn’t have time to create new games to coincide with their work for the next days to come. The assessing their work had taken more time than I expected. Time well spent on analysis so I will slowly add to “Rags to Riches” games at a higher level as I teach this unit next time.

At the first part of the unit the students were in groups to help each other with the problems. I eventually was able to stagger their work where they sat in groups but they were busy making their own corrections which made them work at their own pace. This gave me time to work with each student individually, where I could analyze their work and discuss it with them.

The extent of assessing the data of the students’ work and test is not normally done in my classroom practices. I do this normally with the assessments to see what I need to continue to teach, but to do it with the assignments help to bring more students to a higher level of success. I will have to shorten assignments in my classes to make this possible. I am impressed with the success of the students and I believe they are too. This lesson, with all the modifications, has been very successful.


Week 12 Reflection

The students seem so mature this time of year and they walk in and are ready to deal with whatever task is put before them. I know they don’t always understand and need more help then they ask so I have to pry my way in. Overall they are doing well for pre-algebra. The are touching just enough algebra to make next year easier.

My linchpin for my unit was students’ writing in the mathematical language. They seem to have embraced the idea and used it for their benefit. I had two students that continued to struggle with writing and it would mess up their work. I had another student that does well at “Order of operations” and yet does a careless version of the language. They don’t carry everything to the next line and yet remembers what was left behind and comes to the right answer. Yet, I had two students that I was very concerned about in the beginning of the unit and they have conquered writing in the mathematical language with minimal error. I believe the “Math Hygiene” video made a huge impact in their thinking and it cleaned up their mathematical thinking. It made it easier to read the next step in the problem and they were almost flawless.

Twitter was interesting. I like leading with the questions.  It requires me to focus early on the essential questions.  With three of us asking questions made it a little bit challenging to come up with unique questions.

Sara, too, is having trouble with attendance. It seems that it is always a hold up on education. I see the purpose of extracurricular activities, but education sure pays a toll for the events. I’m amazed at the journaling that Amy does. My journaling is a little different. I wrote on the students worksheet and stapled their work together so I can see individual progress.

Essential question: What evidence am I collecting for my final project – and for what purpose?

Week Twelve 


My evidence that I am collecting for my final project is the work of the students. I have collected them and kept them in order so I can see the progress of the students. I can evaluate their work and pick out the errors that I need to correct and watch for those errors to be corrected. I had noticed that the students were correcting their errors before I could catch them due to the Pizzazz assignment have the answers on the paper. I realized that I needed to allow the students to make the errors so I can see them. I created worksheets with the answers and it provided work space for the students to write in the language to reduce errors.  When I would grade their papers I would use it as a teaching point to help them to write in the mathematical language so they wouldn’t make errors or I would help them to see the error they needed to correct. If time didn’t allow me to have individually talk with the student they would have to read their mathematical writing and recognize the colored marker emphasizing the step that needed to be done, that wasn’t done in the correct order. The assignments were collected daily and immediately graded by me and returned to the student for corrections. This was exhausting to me, but it allowed more individual mentoring. Most of the students embraced the change and appreciated the insight to the “Order of Operations”. I did have two students that resented receiving their work back. They just wanted the task done. Due to the quick turn around of the assignment for immediate feedback most of the assignments were turned in daily.

On Monday, we reviewed the higher-level problems. This allowed me to give instructions again that pertained to grouping symbols and exponents. We continued our pattern of turning in the work to be graded and returned for corrections. Students did well at working through the problems that were difficult.

On Tuesday, we took our final assessment. Students we spread out to their own table with binders up to block the view among students. They work diligently and turned in their work. After grading their assignments I only marked c for correct and / for incorrect. I gave no hint to how to correct their error.  This final assessment was not the same as the pre-test.  The students had exceeded my expectations and so I moved to a high level of performance.  These are pre-algebra students and I moved on to algebra level work for them.

On Wednesday, I returned their assessment for any corrections that needed to be made. I enjoyed watching the student strut back to my desk after making a couple of corrections. You could see how proud they were of how well they performed. I had one student fear his test and was quite pleased that he didn’t do as bad as he thought. I had another boy refuse to make any corrections. He didn’t like his papers returned either. We offer him help, but he gets in a mood that requires time to accept the task he doesn’t want to do. To my dismay he didn’t make any corrections on his final assessment.  He did exceed the pre-algebra level of work, but did struggle some with the algebra level of work.  This will be taken into consideration in their grades.

Reflection Week 11

On day four of my lesson I had to add a scaffolding strategy of grading the students papers for immediate feedback. This was a little stressful, but I learned a lot more of their struggles and how to help them. (My struggle this week was being homesick with a headache.) I couldn’t be there for the lesson and implemented my grading their papers when I returned. It helped me to catch up with where the students were at in their progress of Order of Operations. This scaffolding helped me to see where each student was at and gave me a moment with each student for individualized instruction. I also received feedback from the students. They appreciated the individual feedback that emphasized the language and required the students to read their answer, see where they went wrong (marked in color by me) and they could continue the problem to the end. This worked great with most students. I had one student refuse to correct some of the problems that they needed to fix. I know to watch for this from her and we will sit and walk through the problems on our next round. Overall, or the majority of the class the extra scaffolding worked wonders for both the students and I.

The twitter session always awaken our focus of the week. This makes writing easier when the twitter session breaks down points and I get to hear what others are experiencing. I do struggle with the limitation of characters that we get to write with, so I spend too much time trying to limit my words to get my point across.

I suggested to Sara that a pre-test might have caught the lack of knowledge on the students’ part.   I suggested videos from Math Antics to Amy. I think Amy is doing a great job and I just shared a strategy that works well for me. I loved Larissa’s honesty in recognizing that her students needed to know ahead of time what to focus on.

Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit?

Week 11

I started my lesson late last week and we worked through this week. We will finish the middle of next week. We started with Pizzazz worksheet that provide the answer for immediate feedback. If the students can’t find their answer they know something went wrong somewhere. This made it hard to find errors made by the students. They would erase and fix their error before I could see what the error was. This isn’t a bad-thing it just made me work harder in trying to evaluate their work.

The students have been troopers. They show interest in the videos on how to do “order of operations” and “math hygiene”.   These videos were entertaining and repeat the concepts in a way that kept you focused. The students love the immediate feedback. It encouraged them to continue and finish their work. The students transitioned to the computer game as if on a mission. They seemed to like the variety of learning that was offered to them.

In the middle of the week I had one of the assignment done on their own without help from their peers or teacher. It was still a Pizzaz worksheet that had the answers on the paper that answered a pun joke. The students had almost perfect papers. I didn’t see much on the written language and this persuaded me to move to no answers on the papers. We had not covered exponents yet and I wanted to check on them before implementing the exponents into our “order”.

I had to change my worksheets to where the students didn’t have the answers and had to  complete the assignment and I would immediately grade it, evaluate the errors that were made. I would put a large C on the correct ones and use a marker to show the Order of Operation that needed to be done and wasn’t in the proper order. I would return the paper and give the student an opportunity to correct their error. This made it easier to catch errors, emphasize the purpose of the written language and see if they could read the language by fixing the error. I will continue to assess the errors to see if there is consistently the same error among the students or individual student. Let the fun begin. Data time.


Marcy, S., Marcy, J., (1996) Algebra Pizzazz. Wright GroupIMcGraw-Hill One Prudential Plaza

WEEK Ten Reflection

I think this was the scariest week for writing. This week was fun to read through the lessons that were written by my peers. It was very enlightening to see the different approaches to teaching/learning.

I really liked Sara’s idea of calculating the cost of material in her lesson (day 4). This I could use in my units that I create. I would change it a little and have them purchase a box, because the store doesn’t sell one at a time and see how much excess that companies have to purchase in order to build in Alaska. Just a different twist for a higher-level class.

The next lesson that I read through was Amy’s on fractions. I like how she implemented journaling through out the lesson. She did well on add a variety of opportunities for students to respond to the concept. She had them writing, talking and working through the concept. I thought she did well in keeping the student moving through a variety of ways of thinking and implementing their thoughts. Amy had connected her technology standards to her lesson, I didn’t remember to add this to mine.

I found Larissa’s lesson the ecosystems fascinating. I liked the variety of technology and opportunities that she offered for her students to grasp the concept. She also add in technology to her standards, I’ll have to add that to mine.

Twitter chats have been helpful by hearing how other people interpret what things mean. Life got the best of me this week and to top it off it was parent/teacher conference week. It was a great to read the lessons; it took some time due to the variety types of lessons written and trying to analyze the lesson (and sharing with my peers). Therefore, I spaced the reflection blog this week.   I was confused with the writing with the unit and the reflection.

Order of Operations Lesson UBD

Essential question: How does my unit plan integrate best practices and theory of differentiated instruction?

I start with a video with a character that is entertaining. Math Antics has several math concept videos that are entertaining and to the point. I like the way concepts are stated several times. I use the video with great instruction. I start teaching after the video with the first problem of their assignment.  This helps the students to focus on their short assignment, which will allow time to experience different types of ordered operations. As students become confident I will move to individual monitoring and continue to answer questions.   At the end of the assignment the students will use “Rags to Riches”, an internet game with order of operation problems,  to receive immediate feed back on their work (this program allows me to create more games with problems that the students need to practice). On other days I will have a puzzle and enrichment (binary numbers) that will give the students an opportunity to think differently. So, I tried to offer a variety of example to the students learning opportunity.  This has the lesson broken up into two pieces that helps break up the learning.  Students will be able to practice in written form and in game form.  This gives the students a break in between two types of practicing their concepts with different intrinsic motivations of learning.  First, they practice on paper and then they try to win a game.

The daily assignments have the answers that complete a pun joke. So daily, the students are assessed on their assignments. They have to check their answers when they are finished. When the students play the game “Rag to Riches” the students are again being assessed. When they win $1,000,000. I know they made it through the ten problems successfully. Even though I have an assessment set up on the end, I have a record of assessments along the way.  This immediate feedback helps the students to make corrections in the errors they might be making. (Carley and McMillan)


Cauley,K., McMillan, J. (2010).  Formative assessment tecniques to support student motivation and achievement.  Retrieved from : httpp:// March 2016

Math Antics. (2012) Order of Operations. Retrieved from: March 25, 2016.


Order of Operations

Stage 1 Desired Results


6.EE Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.

c. Evaluate expressions and formulas. Include formulas used in real-world problems. Perform arithmetic operations, including those involving whole number exponents, in the conventional order with or without parentheses. (Order of Operations)


Students will be able to independently use their learning to…                                           

·       Use order of operations to calculate numbers in the correct order.

·       Use order to calculate cost when different factors are involved. For example: fees, taxes when purchasing items.

·       Calculate the area of odd shapes by calculating areas of sections they identify and add them up.

·       Calculate formulas in the correct order.


Students will understand that…

1.     Grouping symbols need to be done first.

2.     Exponents are a specialized multiplication that must be done before combining with others.

3.     Multiplication and Division are next and are equivalent. This must be done in order of left to right.

4.     Addition and subtraction are equivalent and the last ones completed in order of left to right.




·       How does the order of operation affect your answer?

·       What would happen if there wasn’t order to solving problems?

Students will know…                           

·       How to solve mathematical problem with more than one computation.

·       How to find the surface area of a pyramid, prism or cube.




Students will be skilled at…                                      

·       Finding the cost of joining a club with fee, purchase and taxes.

·       Finding the surface area of objects with quadrilaterals.


Stage 2 – Evidence
Evaluative Criteria Assessment Evidence
Day 1

1.     PreTest

2.     Introduce vocabulary: Order of Operations, (page 8)

3.     Watch a video: Math Antics – Order of Operations This covers all four operations with an emphasizes on Left to Right for both multiplication/division and Addition/subtraction rules.

4.     Practice simple expressions of Order of operation that only contain addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

5.     The next introduction is Grouping symbols.

6.     Practice simple expressions that contain the previous and grouping symbols.

7.     Next we will add is fractions that have expressions in the numerator and/or denominator.

8.     The finality of this section is to apply to word problems that pertain these limitation on order of operations.

9.     The student will work on the assignment.

10.  Student will go to and play “Rags to Riches”. This is an order of operations game that practices simple order of operations.

Day 2

1.     Our assignments will gradually add more difficult problems. Allowing those students whom are absent or need an extra practice time to master the concept. Exponents and Order of Operations Video This video purpose is that Fraction are under the grouping symbols. This means the Numerator and denominator have to be done first. Also, the video shows examples of writing in the mathematical language.

2.     The first practice will be with double grouping symbols.   The word problem shows the student where we use order of operations in the real world. The problem presents two areas of grass and we need to calculate out the walkways, so therefore, we subtract calculate out the grassy areas and subtract them from the main area.

3.     The next level of practice is a puzzle where you have the answer and you choose the numbers and parenthesize to get there. You have eight empty boxes to fill in.

Day 3

1.     Todays’ emphasize is on fractions as grouping symbols. Students will practice doing the numerator and denominator before dividing. (Just like yesterday). They will also practice double grouping symbols(p3 pizzaz).

2.     The next level of practice is an enrichment with Binary Operations. (Here is a new binary operation. # means “multiply the numbers, then add the second number to the product”. Example 5 # 4 = 5×4+4 =24

Day 4

1.     Substitutions is the next step in Order of operations. The video emphasizes Good Math Hygiene This will help the students that are careless clean up some of their writing habits. The video also uses substitution to show parenthesis are used in substitution.

2.     Our last practice will be Substitution.

Day 5

1)     We will watch a video on Exponents.

2)     Exponents will be added the order of operations. (179 1-24)

Day 6

1.     We will build on our skills and practice the exponents. 14

2.     Exponent practice with word problems. (179 25-49)

Day 7

1.     Assessment day. Our chance to excel! Students will show what they know and what they don’t know. This is how they let me know what they still need to practice or details that I need to help fix.


1.     I will grade their pretest and watch for common errors that occurred and help the students make the corrections.

2.     Students will practice the order of operations on page 11 problems #5-27. I will be checking their work as they are progressing through their work.   Students that are absent or fall behind will continue where they left off. The assignments get hard fast if they don’t follow the steps. The puzzles, enrichment and Rags to Riches allows students time to finish their assignment in class.

3.     Students will grade their own papers and make any correction they need to make in their computations. The grade sheet has the work shown for each problem.

4.     Students will play “Rag to Riches”on the computer. This has immediate feedback for the students for each problem. It is played like the game “Who wants to be a millionaire.” Students will be given an order of operation problem and they have a choice of four answers. They try to win up to 1,000,000.

5.     I will monitor their work each day and help students that are still struggling. When there isn’t immediate feedback, I will monitor their assignments and help those who appear to be struggling.

6.     The Pizzaz assignments have the answers on the assignment and are used to create a pun joke. The students will grade the problem as they solve it. This will be their immediate feedback and self-evaluations. They will know if they made an error and ask a peer or teacher for help if they can’t find their error.

7.     The final assessment will be a Pizzaz worksheet that has the answers on the paper for feedback. I won’t give instruction, but they know how to be sure they are showing their work and checking their answer.


8.     The final assessment will have immediate feedback. A pizzaz assignment will be used. Students will show their work on a separate paper, but the answers would still have a match, so the student will have to opportunity to catch error while working.

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After students grade their papers and turn them in I will grade them for accuracy and observe the errors they are making so corrections can be made in the next lesson. All lesson will be graded by me. So I can monitor how each individual is doing.

Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Summary of Key Learning Events and Instruction

1)     Pretest

2)     Simple order of operations. (p11 1-21)

1.     Grouping symbols,

2.     Exponents

3.     Multiply/Divide, left to right,

4.     Addition/subtraction, left to right.

b.     Order of operations on “Rags to Riches” will be used to end the first two days.

3)     Simple order of operations practice with word problems (p11 22-44)

a.     A puzzle where the answer is given and with specific numbers and parenthesis you have to figure out how to get to the answer.

b.     Order of operations on “Rags to Riches” will be used to end the first two days.

4)     Two sets of grouping symbols within a problem and fractions that fall under grouping symbols. (Pizzaz 3)

a.     Enrichment with Binary Operations.(14)

5)     Substitution and Order of Operations. (1)

6)     Exponents will be added the order of operations. (book 179 1-24)

7)     Exponent practice with word problems. (book 179 25-49)

8)     Final Assessment (Post Test) on Order of Operations. A Pizzazz worksheet will be used so the answers would still be on the assessment, like their assignment, and they can check their work as they go. This will give them a chance to fix their errors.

(Pizzaz 3)



Reflection Week 9

In the “who’s cheating whom?” Kohn’s article, has made a great point to support relationships with students. Students are more likely to cheat if they don’t know the teacher personally. The students need to know we care about them. By spending time with them and talking about their interests help grow a bond with them. They get to know what your personality and preferences are. As you bond with the students they are less likely to cheat on the work/tests in your classroom. This bond has grown to a level of respect. I need to take more time to talk with each of my students and give them choices so they can feel ownership by me respecting their opinion in our classroom. Since I work with high school students, I used cause and effect to show them cheating doesn’t work. I have the answer keys out on a table and they grade their assignment when they are finished. I monitor the students if I suspect they don’t know a concept and they magically finish an assignment. The classes have the mathematic skills and work ethic to be great. We have been working on thinking skills and dipping into our resources to apply to our math problems. They have come a long way this year and my hope is with the combination of “thinking skills” and bonding they will learn to respect learning concepts over their grade.

At the high school level I emphasize the purpose of their work is to practice what they need to so when they take the assessment they can show what they know. The formative assessment, in my classroom, is presented to the students as an opportunity to “show me what they know so I can teach them what they don’t know.” This takes the stress of having to know everything on the test. The students know that I will analyze the test to figure out what still needs to be taught and they have an opportunity to retake the assessment. I have learned to use dialogue assessments with some students. I monitor their work closer knowing that their assessment will in different fashions.

In Cauley and McMillan article on Formative assessment, I was glad to see how I talk with the students, feedback, was a motivating factor in my classroom. I will work harder at describing the work they are doing correctly to them. I learned that it motivated them to want to learn more since they were on target with the concept. I did notice that they adjust their seating and lean more into their work. I also have them grade their paper to see how they did on the assignment. If they see a common error on their paper they are allowed to go back to their desk and fix the errors before they finish grading.

As usual it was a great read and I was happy to see I am headed in the right direction. With a few adjustments I am excited to watch for the changes in some of my students that need to improve their intrinsic motivation.

How can I use both formative and summative assessment to enhance (or at least not interfere with) intrinsic motivation? Week 9


Using formative assessments in the classroom. if done right, with immediate feedback can motivate students to take control of their learning. Students need to be informed of the purpose and their role of assessments.   When students know more about the purpose and they see how they can benefit from the assessments they will take control and intrinsically motivate themselves to doing better with learning.

Formative assessments can be as simple as a thumbs-up from students that they understand to taking a test at the end of a chapter. Cauley and McMillan state in their article, Formative Assessment Techniques to Support Student Motivation and Achievement, that teachers miss understand what formative assessment is and that, “Formative assessment is a process through which assessment-elicited evidence of student learning is gathered and instruction is modified in response to feedback.” As teachers we need to gather our information make adjustments to our instructional procedures and give the feedback to the students efficiently so they can adjust their current learning tactics. This feedback can enhance the intrinsic motivation in our students. As Couley and McMillan continue to state, “As long as the environment in which formative assessment is practiced is supportive and trusting, a classroom that demonstrates these characteristics at a high level will have the most positive effect on motivation and learning. Formative assessment, then, is a planned process to the extent that the teacher consciously and constantly absorbs evidence of student performance and then uses this information productively, resulting in increased student motivation and engagement.” Our classroom needs to support students in a manner that they trust teachers and their peers in order to blossom in that environment. Teachers must continuously work at keeping their environment safe for students, so they can be motivated to take a risk and build their intrinsic motivation. Students learn the following from their formative assessment (Cauley and McMillan, 2):

  1. Frequent, ongoing assessment allows both for fine-tuning of instruction and student focus on progress.
  2. Immediate assessment helps ensure meaningful feedback.
  3. Specific, rather than global, assessments allow students to see concretely how they can improve.
  4. Formative assessment is consistent with recent constructivist theories of learning and motivation

When we teach our students what formative assessment does for them they can learn to use the feedback to enhance their learning skills. Students need to learn to value learning and this will help enhance their intrinsic motivation to continue to learn.

At the high school level for mathematics, I emphasize the purpose of their work is to practice what they need to so when they take the assessment they can show what they know. So the formative assessment, in my classroom, is presented to the students as an opportunity to “show me what they know so I can teach them what they don’t know.” This takes the stress of having to know everything on the test. The students know that I will analyze the test to figure out what still needs to be taught and they have an opportunity to retake the assessment. This helps the students with the mindset of this is finalized and they can’t fix it. The anxiety level goes down due to the thinking this is just checking on my knowledge of the topic and the unknown concepts can still be learned. With the anxiety level being lower helps the students to intrinsically motivate themselves to do their best and focus on learning what was revealed by the assessment.

A summative assessment in the classroom can be a final project, a presentation or an end the semester assessment.  As for the summative assessments the students need to know that this is just a moment in time and it will show them where they are at compared to other students in the class, school, state or nation. There is so much emphasize on these test that we have to help the students use the test to challenge themselves to prepare by learning. When students understand that these scores can be a placement in the future for them they can see the importance of expressing their knowledge to the best of their ability on the assessment. By scoring poorly or cheating which inflates their score in comparison to what they know would miss place them in ability level classes. Most of the students want to understand the purpose behind what they have to do and once they understand the purpose they will be more cautious with the decisions that they will make in the future.

Changes need to be made because the stakes are so high that students think they have to cheat. According to Kohn, he states that teachers need to bond with the students in a manner that the students care about the teacher as a person so the level of relationship is a respectful relationship and the student wouldn’t risk cheating. When students don’t have a relationship with the teacher they are more inclined to cheat to improve the grade in the class. Another change that teachers need to make assignments relevant, not boring, or not overwhelming that is genuinely engaging and meaningful to students so they are engaged into the learning. Students’ want to be a part of this class where they are heard and have their opinions respected. School also play a role in creating an environment where students will cheat in order to reach goals or win awards. The good grades, honor roll recognition, and parents offer “financial inducements” for good report cards (Kohn, 2). This needs to change to the process and move away from the product. This competition raises the states to where students will take the risk of cheating instead of learning the concept. Students need to “learn for the sake of learning” (Kohn, 3). As teachers we need to create a classroom that enhances the “goal of figuring out” different concepts that are real to the students. Where the students learn to “think” and use their skills to apply to a task at hand.

By teaching the students to think, brings us to skills that need to be taught and a great skill of presentation can be brought to a another level by using Lewin and Shoemaker four contexts where verbal exchanges are fostered:

  • “Argumentation in the classroom
  • Formal speeches in front of the class followed by questions and answers
  • Rotating mini-speeches to small groups
  • Substantive dialogue between a student and the teacher”

Lewin and Shoemaker give great topics that relate to students. The topics need to be relevant to the students so they will have a purpose for their researcher and be strong in their presentation and not read their paper to the class. When students present, it can be to small groups as well as large groups with an emphasis on speaking not reading. The speeches can be spread throughout a few days so that it isn’t all done in one day. This will help keep the students interest in other students’ presentation. Another exchange is to have a substantive dialogue between the student and the teacher. This will give you a better grasp of what the student knows than what an assessment could give you.

Students need to have immediate feedback while learning a new task. A simple, “atta boy” for a positive comment isn’t enough. The students want to hear specifics of what they are doing is correct and specifics of what needs to be corrected. When students hear exactly what they are doing right it will motivate them to continue to try to learn more. Teachers need incorporate more feedback to motivate students to learn. As students are successful they will appreciate learning and hopefully learn to love learning. As teacher of influence we need to pursued students to do well for themselves. When they want to learn and take the controls of their learning we know we have done our job.

Challenge! I challenge you to share the assessments you will use for your UBD unit, and explain their value for intrinsic learning!

During my UBD unit I will be using several formative assessments.

  • While teaching I will ask for understanding to check how well they are recalling or receiving information. I will than assess my instruction and their learning tactics and make adjustments accordingly. This will help the students to see how their learning skills are working for them and make adjustments accordingly. The immediate feedback that I will give will have specific detail to the task what the student is doing correctly. This will help the students’ confidence and they will adjust their attention to details and improve their knowledge of the concept.
  • During their practice time I will assess individuals or individual problems to see how successful they are doing. If they are successfully working with the concepts I will then look for students that are struggling and give individual instructions. With the monitoring of student work and assuring the students with praise on what they are doing correctly will open the student to taking in more instructions to assure their success with the assignment.  Students will grade their own paper before turning it in.  They will have a chance to make corrections if they recognize something that they did throughout the paper.  They can go back to their desk and correct it before finishing grading their paper.
  • We will use technology for immediate feedback to the students. This program will inspire students to see if they can win a “million dollars”. I will have the students keep track of their winnings. Each time they write down their winnings, they will write down the problem and write the proper steps that should have been taken and if they don’t know they can ask for help.   I know that they had not done the order of operations correctly and I can help them assess the error and make the corrections. This program will help the students with all the little details in order of operations.
  • At the end of the unit we will take an assessment that will tell me see what still needs to be emphasized in the classroom as we continue in other concepts. The instructional adjustments need to be written in the reflection of the lesson, with the adjustment written into the lesson for next year. Student feedback should be quick in a timely fashion so they can decide if they want to study a section and retake that portion of the test. The final assessment is worth 80% of their grade for this section. Usually assignment run about 20 points and assessments run about 80 points.

(In this class I don’t have any students that fall far below or need modification made to their assessments. I do in other classes and I assess those students through daily dialogue.)


Bond, L. A. (1996). Norm-and criterion-referenced testing. ERIC/AE Digest. Retrieved from:

Cauley, K., McMillan, J. (2010). Formative assessment techniques to support student motivation and achievement. Retrieved from: March 2016

Lewin, Larry, and Shoemaker, Betty Jean. Great performances : Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Available: Web. 13 April 2015.

Kohn, A. (2008). Who’s cheating whom? Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved from: 13 April 2015.

Tomlinson, Carol Ann, and Moon, Tonya R. (2013) Chapter 6: Assessment, grading and differentiation. Assessment and Student Success in a Differentiated Classroom. Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD). ProQuest ebrary. Web. Retrieved from: 13 April 2015.

Wheatley, K. F. (2015). Factors that perpetuate test-driven, factory-style schooling: implications for policy and practice. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 10(2). Retrieved from:

EDET 637 Reflection Week 8

The amount of reading was much, but so worth it. I soaked in every word and it took awhile to get through it.  It was an excellent read that I needed to be refreshed about the topics. I want to spend more time with studying on the brain. We are a title one school and I do see the characteristics of poverty among the students. I want to study more so I can help them rewire their brain. I really appreciate how it breaks down the emotions and tell us what emotions have to be taught.

As an elementary teacher, one has to be well aware of the full day of their students.  At the middle school and high school level, the administrations must think their individual schedules through and accommodate their schedules with educational decision that cover the majority of the ten principle strategies given by Jensen.

Sara had shared a great diagram from . I love how it breaks a fixed mindset and a growth mindset down to their thinking and action. I will use this in my classroom so the students can identify themselves and make a change if need be.

In Catherine’s blog she quoted Jensen with, “Either you can have your learners’ attention or they can be making meaning, but never both at the same time” (Jensen, 2005). This spoke volumes to me in the reading and to reread it in the blog reminded me to post this at my desk. I have to allow the students to “make meaning” of what they just learned. So many times I go to their desk and help them get going and when they finish a problem they look at me and say, “that’s it?” I am excited to go back after spring break and see what the changes do for the students.

As an educator I will continue to study the brain and how it works to maximize the capacity of learning.  As we teach the students in a more rounded environment.  I really appreciated this week of reading.  I purchased the books plus others from the author.  I want to revamp my teaching to include and utilize how the brain works.  I had used some of the strategies with my pre-algebra class.  I knew if I broke it into smaller chunks they would do better.  I didn’t realize that everyone needed it.  Silly me, went by the textbook.  Great week for reading.