While students are progressing through our unit on energy and magnetism certain assessments will be used in order to gauge students understanding and likelihood of remembering the information later on.
The unit on energy and magnetism is part of Strand 5-Physical Science, of the Arizona Kindergarten Science standards. The standard itself states PO 2. Investigate how forces can make things move without another thing touching them (e.g., magnets, static electricity).
During the course of this unit two forms of assessment will be used, formative and summative. The formative assessments will be conducted throughout the unit to check students’ knowledge as well as identify if a students is not grasping the material. The summative assessment will be completed at the end of the unit to gauge how much a student understands the topic of energy and magnetism as well as their likelihood of retaining the information.
One of the formative assessments I will use during the science unit will be a group dialogue on the carpet with student participation sharing information and ideas. Students will work will a partner on simple experiments to see how objects move without another thing touching them. Students will be given a blown up balloon and be told to rub it on their partner’s head and lift the balloon to see what happens. Partners will take turns doing this so both can see what happens to their hair when the balloon is rubbed and than lifted. Students will then be called back to the carpet and asked what they observed. I will write their answers down in a thinking map that will stay posted through out the unit. The same process will be completed the week after on magnets. With their partner, students will use the magnet to move a magnetic object through another surface (i.e. thick piece of paper) while not touching the magnets together. Students will also see what it feels like to put the wrong ends of the magnet together. Students will then come to the carpet to share observations, which I will write on the board. The goal of this early exploration and sharing of observations and ideas will help to branch out to further questions as to how these things occur. For this formative assessment each student will share at least one time with an observation and possible explanation as to what they noticed. This will help to make sure students are all addressing the same question and help any students who may be struggling.
For the summative assessment students will use information they have gained to create a poster board and oral presentation to summarize ideas. After 4 weeks students will have completed science experiments, data collection through observation, working with a partner to draw the experiments and write journal pages about what we have noticed. Students will be given a 12×18 size paper, markers, crayons, pencils, magnets and balloons to create their presentations. Students will first attempt to answer the question “how forces can make things move without another thing touching them”. Students will attempt to write 1 to 2 sentences answering the question (if students are unable to spell certain words sounding out is acceptable.) An example “The magnet can pull because it is strong.” Students will then draw a picture of their science experiment in which lead them to this conclusion. Students should incorporate appropriate vocabulary terms including pull, magnet, static, and energy. Students will present this information to their peers and myself. Students will ask at least 2 peers (different than their partner during the experiment) for feedback to complete the presentation. Students will be graded according to a rubric based on their retention of relevant information, oral presentation skills and their writing/illustration portions.
Through the use of both forms of assessment I should be able to gauge student understanding early on and identify students who may need assistance. With the use of the summative assessment at the end of the unit I will be able to understand which of my students understands the concept of energy as well as an idea into how forces can make things move without another thing touching them.