- K-W-L CHART: K-W-L chart is an excellent way to determine what prior knowledge your students have before starting a topic, what they are interested in learning further, and what they've learned after a lesson. If you use K-W-L chart as a diagnostic tool, then they can omit "L" part of the chart and focus on the K(now)-W(ant).
- POP-QUIZ: Though, pop-quiz is not a personally favorite diagnostic tool of mine. However, based on experience I've seen teachers commonly use it to quickly determine where their students are at. It is quick, and simple. Teachers do not assign a grade value to any diagnostic assessment. It should only be used as your gauging tool. This may require you to pre-select the questions you would like to ask. Pop-quiz should be administered with a clear purpose, it should not be administered for the sake of it to bring order in the class at the start of the class. Questions that you ask should be specific and direct.
- INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCING: I've been a proponent of individual conferencing. I like to be able to speak to my students on 1:1 basis and get a sense of what they would like to accomplish in the course. I start course/block by having students fill out "Personal Success Plan" for the course I'm teaching in which I target: a) Organization System; b) Buddy System; c) Cell Phones, Lateness, and Due Date Policy; and more importantly d) Personal Goal in this course. I meet with students on the first day, and at the end of every month to determine whether the student has been able to successfully implement the plan he/she had set at the beginning of the year. Then, I sit down with students 1:1 and we re-frame and re-work the success criteria for succeeding in the course. I have found this practice very useful and result-oriented. Please find a copy attached below.
- IN-CLASS OBSERVATIONS FOR STUDENT PARTICIPATION OR INVOLVEMENT (I.E., NUTRITION DOMINOES PUZZLE, BINGO GAME): There is no better option than being able to observe your students when they're working on an assigned activity or task. There are number opportunities for you observe your students, whether be it during a BINGO game or when administering a nutrition dominoes puzzle game. During each of these activities, along with other forms of assessments, you will get a sense of where your students are at and also be able to get a sense of group dynamics at play in the classroom. This is an excellent way to get to know each of your students without directly probing them on 1:1 basis. It requires a focus on each of your students' behavior while working with each other and/or individually.
- FOUR CORNERS (I.E., DEBATE ON BANNING UNDERWEIGHT MODELS/THIGH-GAP): Four corners is an interesting formative assessment tool you can utilize in your classroom. It is very effective when you're addressing a controversial topics in the classroom. Especially, during debates, you can have four corners, and have your students take a position with each corner representing a specific view point. In this way, you ensure a random assortment of students and have each group defend the position they've opted for. However, the limitation to this form of assessment is that, when students see that a particular group is heavy with intellectuals or feel they're safe being represented by a group where they will have to do less talking, they will be inclined to join such a group. Hence, to ensure there is a fairness with every group, you can announce - each corner has a limit of "X" members and it will be determined based on first-come-first-serve basis. Though, some students will be represented in a corner that they do not associate themselves with, it is a good exercise to remind your students to be able to critically defend the position from someone else's point-of-view as well. It is an equally important skill to hone.
- KINESTHETIC ASSESSMENT (I.E., NUTRITION SHOPPING GAME, ROLE-PLAY, DEMONSTRATION LAB): The activities that have been recommended throughout four (4) lessons have tried to target multiple intelligence of various group of students (i.e., visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic). The three (3) specific activities outlined are specifically integrated in the lesson to allow students to move-around the class and give them the opportunity to interact. Perhaps, these three activities may not be appreciated by different types of learners (i.e., introverts), hence, it is important to identify such students and make them as comfortable as possible whenever initiating such activities. You do not want to leave anyone behind, and therefore, you want to make every effort possible to ensure each of your students are equally comfortable, engaged and participate in the process.
- WORK-SHEETS (I.E., OBESITY READING EXERCISE): Again, I try to avoid merely relying on work-sheets for assessment, because based on little practice I've had, I've seen students look for the answers and complete the worksheet to get a completion mark without having processed or absorbed what the content is trying to convey. I use work-sheets as a last resort as a form of formative assessment, because I personally do not see a great academic outcome through such practice. However, it doesn't mean that you should never use work-sheets. I'm not suggesting that for a second, but limiting its use in the classroom and potentially exploring other options outlined above may help you engage your students by far more.
- CASE STUDY ANALYSIS (I.E, ANALYZING A PERSON'S PROFILE): There is no better way to learn about an issue and then be able to explore a range of alternatives to that particular issue(s) and lastly recommend a solution(s) for it by means of: Case Study Analysis. In high-school, I've not had a single teacher explain to us the importance of case study. It was during my post-secondary education that I learned the importance of learning, dissecting, analyzing, interpreting a case. I think through case study, you can introduce your students to a range of issues facing our generation, and have them work-out a solution that they think is feasible to resolve the crisis at present after having had consultations with their peers. In the process of trying to solve a case study, and trying to determine the root-cause of the problem, students are engaging in a multi-purpose learning process (i.e., they're not merely working on a case study, but rather are involved in process of: consultation, analytic/critical thinking, observation etc., which are skills that are essential in the real-world survival). Be cautious, when assigning a grade value to solutions proposed by students, because there should not be a right/wrong answer, but rather the evaluation should be based on supporting evidence and how well they've reasoned their arguments for what they're proposing. As teachers, we have been accustomed to expecting a one-dimension answer that you've pre-determined - I think we need to shift-away from such mind-set and look at evaluation in a more holistic approach.
- PROJECT (I.E., TREASURE HUNT GAME, ACTIVITY ON DYING TO BE THIN): You can introduce a range of projects in this chapter. I've suggested two you can explore further. You can review them in detail in their respective lesson plans. You should provide a rubric outline for assessing this project, so the expectations are very clear and so that students know exactly what is expected of them in successfully completing the project. For treasure hunt game, you do not have to provide any class time to complete the activity, as it is home-based. Though, if you have access to few ordinary house-hold items that you can bring to class so students can make a selection, then feel FREE! However, for activity on dying to be thin - You will have to reserve a computer lab if students prefer working on math component on a computer or in-class. You may also have to order supplies (i.e., chart paper, markers etc.).
- LAB REPORTS (I.E., DISSECTION OF RAT/PIG, TESTING SIMULATED URINE LAB): These two (2) labs recommended for this chapter do not follow the conventional lab report writing format. It will have few questions that students will have to respond to. However, if you feel you want students to follow the scientific lab report format, you can easily incorporate that into your lesson.
- CHAPTER TEST: At the end of the chapter, you can administer a chapter test on the content you've covered. You can have your chapter test divided into four sections based on Bloom's Taxonomy: Knowledge/Understanding, Thinking, Application, and Communication. This way you can ensure your students have been tested in various categories, and students with greater retention powers are not unduly advantaged due to heavier focus on knowledge/understanding (i.e., memorization components). This will also challenge your students to explore and study topics beyond memorization. However, if you do put a heavier emphasis on higher-order thinking on the test, you MUST prepare your students accordingly. Teachers in classrooms tend to heavily focus on Knowledge/Understanding components, and expects students to master higher-order thinking on their own - NO. It requires teachers guidance and support throughout.