Making Assessments Visible

Emi's Health CSI

“I learned that health was a lot of things, not just physical health…” – Emi, Grade 6


Health, what is it now?

Students in my Grade 6 Health class at Graded School were asked to reflect on the following questions at the end of our unit and to make new connections to our enduring understanding for health:

Now that we’ve come to the end of our unit on health, I wonder… 
  • What does being healthy now mean to you?
  • How can you now motivate others to make health choices in their lives?
  • How are taking risks and being open-minded fundamental in developing our understanding of health literacy?
Enduring Understanding
  • Health is a complex system with many moving parts and every choice we make impacts our physical, mental and social well-being

I wonder, in what ways could we measure our student’s growth in understanding? How could we make this process visible?


Showing student growth in understanding

Silvana Meneghini, Teaching and Learning Coach at Graded School, blogged about the use of visible thinking routines to demonstrate student growth. In her blog post, she describes how I used the thinking routine, CSI (colour-symbol-image), to first unpack students’ prior knowledge of health, and then again at the end of our unit to show what deeper connections students could make.

CSI Assessment

Link to Ms. Arcenas’ Physical Education Hub – Grade 6 Health


CSI – Pre and Post

Take a look at Emi’s first and then final CSI. I wonder, what change in thinking do you see?

Emi's pre Health CSI

Health CSI Pre-Assessment – image taken courtesy of Silvana Meneghini

Emi's post Health CSI

Health CSI Summative Assessment – image taken courtesy of Silvana Meneghini


A tool for synthesizing student understanding

Using the CSI thinking routine allows students to be creative with their thinking. It encourages students to connect their ideas from reading, watching or listening to non-verbal cues. Comprehension of the information is therefore enhanced through students’ personal connection to a colour, symbol and image. The power of this thinking routine can be seen if used first to gauge students’ prior knowledge of a concept, and then again after delving deeper into it. In doing so, students are able to synthesize their new understanding in more meaningful and innovative ways.
Lupe's Health CSI - pre

Lupe’s Health CSI Pre-Assessment

Lupe's Health CSI - post

Lupe’s Health CSI Summative Assessment

In what ways could you use this thinking routine to enhance comprehension and synthesis in your classroom?
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