Archive for January, 2016

Pre Assessment for Unit on Biomimicry

January 10, 2016 Leave a comment

I have designed the following pre-assessment for my students (click here).

The following is my mind map that shows how I will make use of the pre-assessment results. Follow up, in terms of specific intervention for all students based on their abilities will take place in the next class after the pre-assessment has been given.

Biomimicry Unit

(Click here to enlarge)

Students will be separated into differing groups depending on their performance on the pre-assessment.  Low ability students (those who answered very few questions correctly) will be placed into a group where they will participate in a mini-lesson where I explain what biomimicry is, who the key innovators are, and give examples of how this process works. Students in this group will have to complete an exit ticket at the end of the mini lesson so that I can see which students need extra support or resources to take home to review key concepts taught in the lesson.

Students in the lower ability group will be given a reading comprehension task based on biomimicry for homework that explains key concepts and will contain questions that they can complete and submit the following day. It is believed that assigning the reading comprehension for homework will give members of this group more time to access key information from the reading and reflect on and come up with any questions that they may have about biomimicry for discussion in the next class.

Students in the middle group will be separated into 2 guided reading groups, a higher ability and lower ability group. Both groups will read the same book (click here); however, the supplementary activities for both groups will be different. The lower ability reading group will complete vocabulary activities that will scaffold the reading assignment before they engage in reading. The higher ability reading group will  complete a summary box about the story where they fill in key information from the story in the box such as Who, What, When, Where and Why. These students will also write a summary about the story. Both groups will complete a comprehension quiz upon completion of the reading assignment in class.

Students in the high ability group will be given exams of biomimicry and will begin brainstorming ideas for how scientists might learn from animals in nature and apply their skills or design to modern life. An example of this would be using the colors of a butterfly to design money that is not easy to counterfeit. These students will then collaborate and design on one idea to present to the rest of the class. The students will be assessed on their abilities to collaborate and share ideas. The teacher will use a holistic rubric in order to achieve this. The purpose of this is two-fold: On the one hand, it allows the higher ability students the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice. On the other hand, it allows other groups (e.g. lower and middle level students) the opportunity to gain knowledge about the process of biomimicry thus reinforcing what has been learned in class. For homework, students in the higher ability group will write a self-reflection about their performance in class. Students from the lower and middle group will also rate the higher ability group on their performance in terms of fluency, pronunciation, posture, and clarity.

Toward the end of the unit, all students will take a reading comprehension quiz and complete a writing assignment that will assess their knowledge of biomimicry. The following is a summary of what the aforementioned assessment will look like: click here

I believe that use of the pre-assessment as well as the differentiated activities will allow all students the opportunity to excel on the summative assessment and have a better understanding of biomimicry.



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