Leslie Gale's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Learning Environments – Knowledge Centered and Assessment Centered August 23, 2013

I am posting a series of blogs that illustrate a variety of learning experiences as they pertain to 3 focus students in my kindergarten classroom in 2009.  These posts were originally published on SPU Blackboard for EDU 6655 – Human Development and Principals of Learning- but have since been removed. I am re-posting them here.

This fifth post addresses the learning environments discussed in How people learn: Brain, mind experience and school (National Research Council, 2000) . I have documented an activity that illustrates both the knowledge centered and assessment centered environments.

The activity I implemented addresses both the knowledge centered and assessment centered environments. I gathered my three focus students together and showed them a piece of their writing from the beginning of the year. We discussed several things that we have learned about writing over the past weeks. I asked the group to fix this older writing to show all they have learned. They were given access to extra pages and sentence strips to add on if needed.  After they were finished we discussed what each student added.

I asked *Amanda to tell me how she changed her writing to show what she has learned:

Amanda: “I am smart. I have more words and details. I added lunchboxes. We’ve learned a lot.

I asked Amanda to read me her new writing and she read a pretty long and involved narration about the first day of school. She used a “story teller’s voice”.

Kelsey did not contribute much to the conversation. When I asked her to tell me what she added to her writing she responded:

“Lots of words I know.”

Richard seemed pretty eager and started on his piece even before they were told to begin. Afterwards,  I asked him to tell me what he did:

Richard:  “I added grass and words, We were playing in the park. I added pages to do it later.”

Teacher: “What do you know now that you didn’t know when you first worked on this writing?”

Richard: “How to write was. I didn’t know how to spell.”

Teacher: “What did you add?”

Richard – “Details. Grass in the playground.”

The activity I implemented addresses both the knowledge centered and assessment centered environments. I gathered my three focus students together and showed them a piece of their writing from the beginning of the year. We discussed several things that we have learned about writing over the past weeks. I asked the group to fix this older writing to show all they have learned. They were given access to extra pages and sentence strips to add on if needed.  After they were finished we discussed what each student added.

Here are Amanda’s writings before and after her revisions: Before-After Amanda

I asked Kendall to tell me how she changed her writing to show what she has learned:

Amanda: “I am smart. I have more words and details. I added lunchboxes. We’ve learned a lot.

I asked Kendall to read me her new writing and she read a pretty long and involved narration about the first day of school. She used a “story teller’s voice”.

Here are Kelsey’s writings before and after her revisions: Before-After Kelsey

When I asked her to tell me what she added to her writing she responded:

“Lots of words I know.”

I asked “What else did you add?”

She answered “I added kids, Mr. Johnson and windows.”

I noticed that she added a sentence strip on which she wrote a sentence. She also added a blank page behind her original writing to add more to her story.

Here are Richard’s writings before and after revisions: Before-After Richard

Ryan seemed pretty eager and started on his piece even before they were told to begin. Afterwards,  I asked him to tell me what he did:

Richard:  “I added grass and words, We were playing in the park. I added pages to do it later.”

Teacher: “What do you know now that you didn’t know when you first worked on this writing?”

Richard: “How to write was. I didn’t know how to spell.”

Teacher: “What did you add?”

Richard – “Details. Grass in the playground

This activity enhanced the knowledge centered environment in that it incorporated “progressive formalization”. The original writing reflected the informal ideas about writing that these students brought to school. As they applied what they had learned so far this year in their revisions, they were able to see how their ideas about writing can be transformed and formalized.

The assessment centered environment was enhanced in that it allowed students to build skills of self-assessment. They reflected on what they learned about writing and then revised their original work.

National Research Council. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind experience and school (expanded ed.). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Advertisements
 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s