Maker #3 Assessment & Evaluation

http://business.time.com/2013/05/09/assessing-the-creative-spark/

I found this website with many interesting facts about creativity in the workplace.  It is a great place to start when we consider the necessity for students to explore their own creativity as they get prepared one day to put their skills to the test in whatever professional field they may choose.

I do see myself implementing the ideas that I have learned  in regard to Maker Education.   I am not sure that I would use the Raspberry Pi, per se, but I feel strongly about the Maker Education concept.    I can see utilizing the Pi when we do our unit on “Magnets and Electricity”  and or/ “Squishy Circuits”.  The constraints of the Pi seemed cumbersome at best for a fourth grade classroom and in my research, I have found that it is best suited for older students (around 14 years of age).  However,  I feel that when students create, they are utilizing many higher order thinking skills.  I feel that they will give you much more by doing this type of engaging work than what they are traditionally exposed to.  Oftentimes, they far exceed our expectations when given this type of learning situation.  As Anne Marie Thomas said in her article entitled “Engaging Students in STEM Classroom Through Making”, “Making is about empowering students to see that they can bring their ideas to life, and create new things.  I strongly believe that we are all makers at heart, and that every new project incorporates new learning opportunities.” (Thomas, 2012)  To illustrate this point even further, I have a video of two of my former students as they began to make sense of the science concepts in mixtures and solutions.  After discussing an analogy that helped her understand what was going on, this student took it upon herself to create a video explaining how molecules are dissolved in two different examples.  Take a look.

I really liked this rubric from Grant Wiggins,

http://grantwiggins.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/creative.pdf

it seems as though teachers need some kind of structure with which to evaluate. This gives a good beginning model for just that.  In addition to this, the preceding  two videos are examples of “maker” philosophy in that my two students took it upon themselves to develop and create these videos without much instruction from me, might I add.  This was a really good connection for me in how technology combined with pedagogy and context can really solidify the learning.  These videos were done prior to my MAET experience.  These girls masterfully used two very ordinary ways to construct their learning about mixtures and solutions.  It was so powerful because everyone can tuck these images away in their minds and they are so concrete!

As far as evaluating the effectiveness of this lesson, it was clear that the students had a deeper understanding of dissolving molecules and that they could represent this using everyday materials showed me that they understood.  But, to go a step further, we used this as a teaching point for other students in their understanding.  The girls became a “producer” of knowledge and understanding, not just a “consumer”.  According to Susan M.  Brookhart in her article “Assessing Creativity” (Educational Leadership, 2013),

“Creativity is a simple concept that can be difficult to get your head around. In its most basic sense, creative means “original and of high quality” (Perkins, 1981, p. 6). . . What does it look like when schoolwork is original and of high quality? Probably the foremost characteristic of creative students is that they put things together in new ways (Brookhart, 2010). For example, while writing a poem about a sunset, a student who observes that moment when the sunset looks very much like a sunrise and makes the connection to other endings that can also foreshadow beginnings is more creative than a student who describes that moment as ‘red and fiery.'”  The connections that my students made between dissolving substances and a suitcase full of clothing reminds me of these connections that are made and put together in new, original ways.  For a more in depth look at creativity and assessing it in your students refer to:  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

Sources:

Brookhart, S. M. (n.d.). Membership. Educational Leadership:Creativity Now!:Assessing Creativity. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb13/vol70/num05/Assessing-Creativity.aspx

Kluger, J. (2013, May 9). Assessing the Creative Spark. Business Money Assessing the Creative Spark Comments. Retrieved from http://business.time.com/2013/05/09/assessing-the-creative-spark/

Wiggins, G. (2012, February 3). Granted, and…. Granted and. Retrieved from http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/on-assessing-for-creativity-yes-you-can-and-yes-you-should/

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