How FOSS Works: Assessment
Assessment is an integral part of instruction. Assessment urges students to think and communicate clearly about their understanding of the science content. It also provides students with opportunities to make corrections and additions to their understanding. Formative assessments are used diagnostically throughout the FOSS modules to monitor learning. They let you and your students look deeper into their understanding of science. A summative review of the content reveals students’ comprehension of the content and standards. Answer keys and scoring guides are included to help teachers effectively interpret student responses.Grades K-2 Assessments
The FOSS formative assessments allow you and your students to monitor learning continuously as you progress through the module. The primary formative assessment strategies are:
- Teacher Observation - Teacher observation can take the form of anecdotal notes or 30-second interviews with the students.
- Science Notebooks - Making good observations and using them to develop explanations for how the natural world works is the essence of science. Science notebook sheets are designed specifically to help you to find out what sense students are making of the activities.
The end-of-module assessment evaluates students' learning after they finish all the investigations. The assessment has two formats. Performance items require students to use equipment, write observations, and record findings. Written items focus mostly on content vocabulary and basic understanding.Grades 3-5 Assessments
Embedded assessment is informative. Embedded assessments allow you and your students to reflect on learning continuously as you progress through a module. They take place as a regular part of instruction, and allow you to provide feedback to individual students and the class as a whole.
Embedded Assessments include:
- Teacher observation - Occurs while students are immersed in activities.
- Science notebook sheets (student work) - Generally students use science notebook sheets to record and organize data during an investigation.
- Response sheets (student work) - Response sheets are usually given at the end of Part 1 or Part 2 in an investigation, and require students to use what they have learned so far in a slightly different situation.
Benchmark assessments occur before instruction begins, after each investigation, and after instruction is completed. Benchmark
assessment serve two purposes. They provide teachers with information about student achievement and diagnostic information. They also give
students the opportunity to reflect on their own learning.
There are 3 kinds of benchmark assessments:
- Pretest to measure entry-level skills and knowledge
- I-Check to measure progress after each investigation
- Posttest to assess complete understanding of content and investigation standards