Rather than taking a traditional midterm exam, Sophomore English students at RHHS create a portfolio as a means of alternative assessment.
Principal – Dave Hopper Co-Site Coordinators: Samantha Lister & Lana Ramirez Leadership Team: Heather Hardy, Guidance Jeff Hensley, Curriculum Kim Zornes, Transition Leah Higgins, Extra Help Jane Whitworth, Communication
Rural, southern Ohio Enrollment 500 98% Caucasian 55% Economically Disadvantaged 18% Special Needs 31 faculty members – 100% highly qualified 7 period day - 48 min per period Pathway Programs: Project Lead the Way (Engineering); Health Academy, Early Childhood, Career Based Intervention Post-Secondary Options, Dual Credit, “Flex Credit,” AP Attendance Rate 93.4 % Graduation Rate 90% School Report Card Rating - “Effective” Met AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) HSTW Site Since 2008
Identify strategies for moving the State Standards into classroom instruction
Portfolios are a valid method of alternative assessment. Students gain a sense of motivation & purpose when they understand content standards & how they relate to course work. This generates student “buy-in” & can be a transformational experience in both learning & discipline.
“School of Promise” honors for reading & math scores 5 of the past 6 years. English short cycle assessment performance improves from freshman to sophomore years: average scores 2% -10% higher Consistent satisfactory OGT scores & success in meeting AYP
1. To begin, students read, discuss, & summarize state content standards to gain a deeper understanding of their learning goals. 2. They then consider which assignments from their semester’s work correspond to which content standards. 3. Each student compiles a portfolio by selecting assignments from their semester’s work to represent each content standard. 4. Student “buy-in” increases as they more readily see the purpose of course work during the process of compiling a portfolio.
I N TRODUCTION: Stories about your foot's summer, fictional letters to computer companies, and crossword puzzles. These may all sound like pointless assignments to keep you busy, but everything that we do in our English class actually has a point behind it. The work we do in our classes covers different standards that our state government requires us to learn by the end of the school year. So far, we have covered different goals in reading, various standards in writing, and we plan to cover even more feats throughout the rest of our school year. Sometimes these assignments can be fun, while others are purely difficult.
BODY PARAGRAPH DETAILING PORTFOLIO CONTENTS – READING: First of all, we worked on multiple reading standards. We read an assortment of stories and summarized them, we picked out important ideas and details from these stories, and we learned new vocabulary that can help us read more difficult pieces of writing. To help us pick out main ideas and supporting details, characters, setting, theme, point of view, and the author of a piece of work, we made different story maps based on the stories we read, such as one called "Invasion from Mars." This story map worked on the "Reading Applications: Literary Text" content standard. We also took notes over this short play and then completed tests and quizzes to see how well we understood the writing. These notes were for an article called "Halloween Hysteria" and had blanks in them which we had to fill in. The notes covered the "Reading Applications: Informational, Technical & Persuasive Text" content standard. We even wrote a short summary of Invasion from Mars using various details from a small puzzle. This helped us work on our summarizing skills and went over the standard for "Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies, & Self- Monitoring Strategies." We helped build our vernacular with different crosswords which would give us definitions of words as the hints, and we focused on the meanings of different affixes in our vocabulary study. These crosswords also helped us achieve the standard of "Acquisition of Vocabulary." We also wrote a story of our summer from the viewpoint of our foot and then read it to the class to accomplish the "Phonemic Awareness: Word Acquisition & Fluency." This helped us work on forming words aloud.
BODY PARAGRAPH DETAILING PORTFOLIO CONTENTS - WRITING: Furthermore, we have covered the standards for writing. We wrote letters, learned unusual ways of writing fictional stories, and learned different grammar rules. To cover the "Writing Process" standard, every person in our class each wrote a letter to a tech support group at Dell to teach us how to correctly write and address letters. We worked on the content standard "Writing Conventions" by doing a number of bell ringers that made us fix different grammatical errors throughout a paragraph, which helped us better understand how to use punctuation and our new vocabulary. We also started writing stories with the phrase "It was a dark and stormy night" and passed the paper around the room, writing on each paper that came our way. This project helped us discover a new and exciting way of writing by working on the "Writing Applications" content standard. We covered the "Communication: Oral & Visual" standard by taking notes from a PowerPoint presentation about literary terms. This assignment helped us understand how to use information from a certain type of technological presentation.
PARAGRAPH DETAILING STUDENT GOALS: Although I am satisfied with the work we have done so far this year, I still have an opinion about how we should spend our time the rest of the year. There is a content standard in the writing category called “Research.” We haven’t spent any time so far working on this standard. I think it would be a good idea to spend some time working on some research. I think it would benefit us to research a topic of our choice and write a paper about it then present it to the class. By doing this, we cover more than one content standard at a time.
Acquisition of Vocabulary: Use of context clues & text structures to determine the meaning of new vocabulary. Apply knowledge of roots & affixes to determine the meaning of complex words & subject area vocabulary. Use multiple resources to enhance comprehension of vocabulary. Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehensive Strategies, & Self-Monitoring Strategies Apply reading comprehension strategies to grade-appropriate text. Use appropriate self-monitoring strategies for comprehension. Informational, Technical, & Persuasive Text Evaluate how features & characteristics make information accessible & usable & how structures help authors achieve their purposes.
Writing Process Determine the usefulness of organizers & identify appropriate prewriting tasks. Use revision strategies to improve the style, variety of sentence structure, clarity of the controlling idea, logic, effectiveness, of word choice, & transitions between paragraphs, passages, or ideas. Edit to improve sentence fluency, grammar, & usage. Apply tools to judge the quality of writing. Prepare writing for publication that is legible, follows an appropriate format, & uses techniques such as electronic resources & graphics. Writing Applications Write a persuasive piece that states a clear position, includes relevant information and offers compelling evidence in the form of facts & details. Writing Conventions Use correct spelling conventions. Use correct punctuation & capitalization. Demonstrate understanding of the grammatical conventions of the English language.
As students recognize the relevance of course work, their level of motivation increases & is reflected in both course work & behavior. Portfolios not only constitute summative assessment of the skill sets involved in content standards but actually practice & hone those skills in the process!
Lana Gillespie Ramirez Rock Hill High School Ironton, OH firstname.lastname@example.org