Lisa Boysen

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Recent Reviews by Lisa


Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:46 PM
5 Loved it!
I really enjoyed reading this article even though I had just read the Assessment Article previously discussed by Demers and did not enjoy it. What a difference it makes when a teacher is writing from her personal experience! Knowing that Lee-Ann Flynn had 20 years of teaching experience and was writing the article after implementing performance-based assessment in her classroom was an eye-opener for me. She admits that she was over the high-stakes testing movement, and was sent to another meeting about state testing. She admits to being bored and out of the loop during the meeting, until the subject of science was brought up. This got her attention! She went home and read more about how to design a performance-based assessment for science and decided to give it a try! I also like the fact that Flynn address her “realistic” goal of selecting one science unit to conquer. Most people can change one thing in the curriculum and not be overwhelmed, but often in education, we are forced to abandon a program that we enjoy and just got comfortable with in favor of another one that we don’t know or understand. Taking things slowly was a good move for Flynn and gained her respect from me as a reader. I enjoyed reading her assessment about solids, liquids, and gases that was created around celebrity chef, Rachel Ray. I also believed Flynn when she stated that her students’ scores “were higher than any of the pencil and paper tests” she had given all year long. Her students enjoyed the activity and were happy to share their learning. You don’t see that happen with multiple choice bubble tests…do you?????


Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:46 PM
5 Loved it!
I really enjoyed reading this article even though I had just read the Assessment Article previously discussed by Demers and did not enjoy it. What a difference it makes when a teacher is writing from her personal experience! Knowing that Lee-Ann Flynn had 20 years of teaching experience and was writing the article after implementing performance-based assessment in her classroom was an eye-opener for me. She admits that she was over the high-stakes testing movement, and was sent to another meeting about state testing. She admits to being bored and out of the loop during the meeting, until the subject of science was brought up. This got her attention! She went home and read more about how to design a performance-based assessment for science and decided to give it a try! I also like the fact that Flynn address her “realistic” goal of selecting one science unit to conquer. Most people can change one thing in the curriculum and not be overwhelmed, but often in education, we are forced to abandon a program that we enjoy and just got comfortable with in favor of another one that we don’t know or understand. Taking things slowly was a good move for Flynn and gained her respect from me as a reader. I enjoyed reading her assessment about solids, liquids, and gases that was created around celebrity chef, Rachel Ray. I also believed Flynn when she stated that her students’ scores “were higher than any of the pencil and paper tests” she had given all year long. Her students enjoyed the activity and were happy to share their learning. You don’t see that happen with multiple choice bubble tests…do you?????


Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:41 PM
3 How Do We Go Beyond?
In this journal article, Chris Demers describes the process of creating and implementing a performance-based assessment for science. I agree with the idea of allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of science in a meaningful, hands-on fashion. However, just reading the article gave me a headache to think of how these assessments would be scored. I think the scoring process is why we have delved so deeply into the multiple choice format. Scoring is electronic, easy, and quick. When you are assessing entire school systems at every grade level, assessment needs to be as quick and as painless as possible. Evaluating students’ answers to actual hand-on science experiments and problems would be a great undertaking at a district or state level. It is often hard for me to get graded assignments back in a timely manner when I am using a rubric to assess student performance. I understand the need for students to actually get to “do” something to show that they understand the process and content of science, but to grade every child in the state based on a performance-based rubric would be outrageous and time-consuming to a system that already has budget issues! I think assessment needs to be placed back with the teacher. Good teachers can tell you whether the students understand a concept by observing them “doing” a task and writing about it. In my opinion, we have taken teachers too far out of the assessment equation these days. Teachers are afraid to talk during a test, point out skipped answers during testing, or interact with students at all during testing. This fear that is displayed by school administrators, teachers, and testing coordinators could possibly be the reason for the students’ scores to be lower than we would like. Stop testing the kids so much and let teachers teach! Let students “do” tasks instead of bubbling tests and they will learn how to be thinkers and processors of scientific information. Let students demonstrate their knowledge to the teacher and take her word for it that they understand the information. She is not going to let them get away with NOT KNOWING. Good teachers don’t do that! ?