Ways To Assess

Since this invention unit has the goal of producing real learners rather than expert rote memorizers, test and quizzes should not ever be present. Rather teacher should implement authentic assessment to track students learning and progress towards the end goal; and inventive mindset.

As discussed before the idea of metapatterns can come up with assessment procedures as well. Through progress monitoring whether by observation or reflections teachers can view students work and express in terms of gradients, arrows, and webs. By representing the students progress in visual ways we can see where they are compared to their peers, what they are getting out of the invention unit, and an insight in the way they are beginning to think.

Assessing before the unit is one of the most crucial elements for a teacher to gain. Depending on the age, students can come into your class or this unit with different techniques and ideas of what learning is. The idea of learning that some schools have now by teaching to the test, teaching students to memorize facts, and by telling them to learn without flexibility is something that will show up when you enter this unit. It is important to note this and where your students are by having them reflect on what learning is and through observation, watch how they interact with the freedom this unit gives them.

During the unit students should be reflecting in their inventors journals. Before the unit teachers should give them bound notebooks that they can doodle, jot down ideas, and express their curiosity in. Much like Leonardo Di Vinci did, this is a great way to promote the inventive mindset, as well as collect and use for assessment. Students will be required by not limited to a certain number of reflections based on the unit.

After the unit teachers can collect and use these journals to really gain an insight on how much the students learned. These can be used as tools to demonstrate the progress from the first page to the last. Another assessment tool is shown in the inventors fair at the end of the unit. Like a project display, this will show teachers as well as fellow students and parents what it looks like to have academic freedom, and how expectations from standards alone and non-inquiry based learning can inhibit our student’s natural inventive mindset.

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