Assessment is a constantly evolving process for me. It is important to me to give assessments that give me meaningful information about what my students can understand and communicate in Spanish. My framework for a valid assessment has changed each year, and I’m still researching, experimenting, looking at other teachers’ examples, and generally trying to figure things out.
So here’s my question: What kind of assessment makes a valid quiz grade?
Admin mandates that tests are weighted 60% and quizzes are weighted 20% (the other 20% is homework and daily work), and also that each department give common assessments. I know my students are pretty solid on the vocabulary, and we’re working up to some more in-depth writing and speaking assignments, but I’m not sure what to do for a quiz grade. I want it to be comprehension-based, but more than translating individual words. I’ve looked at the Realidades resources….I don’t love them. The chapter test is ok, but I don’t care for the quiz materials at all – too much focus on conjugating, questions are confusing, and it doesn’t clearly measure what students understand. I’m thinking perhaps a reading passage with some comprehension questions in English (although I do find it difficult to write good comprehension questions), or maybe filling out a graphic organizer – like a paragraph about a school schedule, and they fill out a chart?
So writing is reflecting, and after I wrote the above post, I went over to Musicuentos.com and read through the Assessment tag, and found this description of how Sara-Elizabeth did vocab quizzes in Spanish 1 and 2:
1) Ask random questions to elicit vocab, and the answer just has to make sense or be true. (¿De qué color son los ‘arches’ de McDonalds?)
So I could do something like, ¿Qué clase tienes primera? ¿Qué necesitas para la clase de matemáticas? ¿Quién enseña tu clase de literatura? ¿Cuál es tu clase favorita? ¿Por qué? Short and sweet, easy to grade (a must to sell it to my department!), and leaves vocabulary open-ended for students. I hesitate, however, because a wrong answer could mean either that they didn’t remember how to say the answer in Spanish, or that they didn’t understand the question. So maybe give the option, (or require?) that they also write what the question means in English?
What do quizzes look like in your classes?