Science Sampler: Self-assessment helps classroom focus on learning and understanding by: Peggy Watterson

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

In our science classrooms, teachers are the science practitioners demystifying our practice—from reading, inquiry, and problem solving to test taking, and even note taking. Placing learning and understanding in an explicitly prominent position in the classroom has provided a classroom climate that is only competitive in its quest to assure that all are successful. Students learn how to learn because metacognitive conversations ensure that there are no longer mysterious black boxes understood by only a privileged few. By encouraging students to practice the self-assessment strategies described in this article, the road to success is open to all.

  • Middle
Publication Date

Community ActivitySaved in 159 Libraries

Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:28 AM

Learning to learn or the metacognitive approach to learning is not an easy technique to explain to students. However, modeling how you analyze a difficult reading passage out loud to students helps students understand how you, the teacher, process information. This technique should include demonstrating strategies such as rephrasing, rereading, mental pictures and more. This can be difficult at first. The article provides a five point self-assessment rubric students can use in all types of activities for self-assessment. The article also provides several types of assessment that can be used by the teacher to gauge students’ acquisition of content knowledge. In all of this learning and understanding is the main goal of what a teacher should be doing with students.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:00 PM

A simple rubric posted in the classroom assists students with clarifying their understanding of specific standards or “targets.” This non-threatening method can be used to inform your teaching and build student understanding as they rate themselves on readings, labs, and lessons (i.e. “I read it and am totally confused” versus “I could teach it.”). Helping students become metacognitive shifts emphasis from tests to understanding in a manner that can easily be documented.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)

Free - NSTA Members

$1.29 - Nonmembers

Login or Create a Free Account to add this resource to your library.