EDCI 500 02: Blog Reflection 7 Formative and Summative

April 28, 2013

Formative assessment is a helpful tool for teachers. Formative assessment is used before or during instruction to determine what students prior knowledge is, to determine if they are retaining information that is being given during instruction, identify areas of weakness and to determine if teaching methods are effective for the lesson.  Using formative assessments can help a teacher determine if the lesson plan or teaching methods need to be altered for a unit or if the lesson in place is an effective plan for the unit.


Summative assessment occurs at the end of instruction and can be used to determine what the student knows, the students level of accomplishment and whether the lesson plan in place is effective. Both formative and summative assessments are valuable tools for the classroom, while the assessments are testing different information they both provide valuable feed back for teachers. The information gained by using the assessments gives the teacher guidance on whether they need to come up with a better lesson plan and different approach for teaching the unit or if they can keep the lesson plan in place. It also identifies specific areas of weakness that the students are having so the teacher is able to review this information with them and expand upon the lesson.


As a future special education teacher I think that formative and summative tests are incredibly valuable to me. I think that formative assessments should be used at the being of every school year to establish where my students are. So much information is lost over the summer and some special education students have extreme difficulty with memory. It will help guide me on how much information we need to review, how far the students are ahead or behind other classes. It would also tell me if a student is further ahead of his or her classmates and could be used to help students who are struggling with information. I can also see the added benefit of using formative assessment throughout the school year to make sure that my teaching methods are working and students are progressing with the information.

Categories: Educational Psychology.

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EDCI 500: Blog Reflection 6 Ambiguity and Constructivism

April 14, 2013

I must start off by saying that I was so happy to graduate high school and be done with school that I never wanted to step foot into another classroom again. I only took a few classes at the local community college at a co-workers urging, and I discovered an adventure that was one of the most rewarding things that I have done in my life. Yes, it did prevent me from going back to school, but it gave me a sense of purpose and satisfied my needs for the next ten years. I constantly took classes and trained, but it was something that encouraged me to help others and extrinsically motivated me.


I have found that over time my needs and motivation have changed, having children does that. As some of you know I have a child who is in a Special Education program and was treated horribly on a daily basis. Through all of the parent conferences and meetings to iron out an IEP, I struggled to understand how we got to this point. I came to the realization that many of these teachers had no clue what they were doing not only to my child, but also to many of the students in their classes. I found myself thinking that I could be a better teacher and do a better job. So I made the decision to go back to school to be a Special Education teacher. I knew that I could make school a better place for students. I did not like school; I just didn’t fit the mold until I went back to college.


So here is a break down of my motivation and how my needs are meet:

My Goal

Needs Being Meet


Earn my M.Ed. in Special Education Self-actualization, intellectual achievement, esteem, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic
Make my classroom a safe place for students Esteem, being, self-actualization, safety, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic
Fulfill my dream of being a teacher Self-actualization, being, esteem Intrinsic and extrinsic
Find a teaching job Esteem, self-actualization, being, physiological Extrinsic and intrinsic
Show my children that education is essential and following your dreams is mandatory Esteem, self-actualization, being, belonging, intellectual achievement Intrinsic and extrinsic
Help students succeed and find their path in life Being, self-actualization, belonging, esteem, intellectual achievement Intrinsic
To make good grades and earn achievements Esteem, intellectual achievement, self-actualization, belonging Intrinsic and extrinsic

I think that by recognizing what motivates us as teachers and thinking about how I got to this point in my life it helps me understand how my students might be feeling and help motivate them. Through Maslow’s theory Woolfolk suggests that it gives “us a way of looking at the whole student whose physical, emotional, and intellectual needs are all interrelated” (Woolfolk, 2013, p.435).


By having a constructivist classroom including ambiguous projects and tasks you allow your students who are poor risk takers and have fear of failure to work on overcoming their reservations of these projects. Teaching them to embrace freedom to develop their own project and have artist license for a lack of better word will help them develop their abilities over the length of their education. You build their self-confidence, intellectual achievement, self-actualization, belonging and sense of safety with in themselves. According to Woolfolk students are able to make plans, set goals and are motivated to succeed (2013). In life there is not always someone to tell you how to solve your problems and which way to go, students have to learn how to take information and build upon it. You are not only teaching students how to complete a project on their own you are building life lessons into your class.

Hoy, A. W. (2013). Educational psychology (12th ed.). Boston: Pearson.


Categories: Educational Psychology.

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