I have designed a Numeracy assessment for grade 2 learners and the focus is on the content area of Numbers, Operations and Relationships of Numbers, and I have focused on four concepts: Counting/Sequencing, Place Value, Adding/Subtracting and lastly Word Problems. My assessment will be in the form of a worksheet and it will be assessing the learners summatively.
The National Curriculum Statement: Foundation Phase Assessment Guidelines document explains that (Republic of South Africa s.a: 9 ) a Summative Assessment "gives an overall picture of the achievements of a learner at a given time, for example, at the end of a term or year. Summative assessment is like a 'snapshot' of a learner's progress at a particular point in time. Summative assessment is referred to as 'assessment of learning'".
The explanation above sums up the reason as to why I have decided to do a summative assessment. This type of assessment will allow the teacher to observe and sum up the learners work/progress. It will inform the teacher on whether or not learners are able to apply the rules they have been taught and whether or not they have a good understanding of what has been taught up until that point. This type of assessment is an effective tool that will benefit both teachers and learners. It will allow the teachers to help learners to improve and revise over work that they found difficult. Learners can learn from their mistake and it allows time for self-reflection/ self-improvement, which will ultimately help to enhance the learners' growth. Teachers are able to evaluate and see where they themselves need to improve or adapt their teaching strategies/methods/visual aids, etc to better suit the needs or learning styles of the learners.
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This assessment is not exceptionally difficult, there are however one or two self application, and extension questions just for those advanced learners to challenge them and to see which learners are needing more assistance. The outcome for this assessment is to test the learners understanding of what they have been taught and to get a general idea of which learners are the stronger or weaker learners in the class.
I have designed this Numeracy assessment so that it can be applied to all three of the learning styles. The Visual Learner is a learner who learns through visualising and seeing what it is that they are being taught -this assessments clearly sets out the work and illustrations making for an appropriate assessment task valid for visual learners. The Auditory Learner is a learner who learns by listening to what they are being taught and through hearing/sound - for this assessment I will firstly read the instructions and explain briefly what each section is requiring the learners to do, this way the auditory learners will be able to better understand what is required of them. The Tactile/Kinesthetic Learner is a learner who learns by physically doing an activity that will help the learner better understand what is being taught- reason (Fleming s.a: no page number)
Something that gave me ideas towards the kind of assessment I wanted to develop was my prior experience from my practical teaching at Addington Primary last year. I was in a grade 2 class which also gave me a good idea of what a grade 2 numeracy assessment looked like. The CAPS document was an excellent guideline in assisting in choosing the content areas and specific concepts relevant to grade 2 learners, it clearly stated what was expected and was an efficient tool in helping to set up this assessment. (Republic of South Africa 2010 : 10-11 ; 94-98)
It is the learners' knowledge of what they have learnt so far in the that is being tested in this assessment. The contents are based on the guidelines of the CAPS document and is based on term 1's work- it focuses on one learning area- Number, Operations and Relationships. (Republic of South Africa 2010 : 10-11 ; 94-98)
I have a class of 28 learners. I expect majority of the class to pass, not necessarily with overly exceeding marks but with at least average passes. My estimation of the learners results will be roughly 2 learners will pass with excellent achievement, 8 learners will pass with excellent-good achievement, another 8 learners will pass with good- average achievement, 8 learners will fall under the categories of average-bad and 2 learners will have not achieved the expected outcomes of this assessment.
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Therefore there will be a total of 18 learners needing to work in the acceleration program and 10 learners needing help in the support program. The reason for my estimations is because this is a relatively simple assessment and as I said before it is just checking the learners' knowledge and understanding, and I feel that a lot of it is a build on and revision of what they already know.
I expect the learners will come into difficulty in the sections of addition, subtraction and problems solving, and so that will be my core focus of the support and acceleration programs.
The dictionary defines the word support as, to "1keep a person or thing from falling or sinking. 2give strength, help or encouragement to someone". (Hawkins 1998: 448). Therefore from my perspective of a support program is a program that is designed/developed to specifically help learners in their area of difficult and to help them achieve their expected outcomes with understanding and knowledge of the learning content; as well as to offer learners encouragement and guidance in order to succeed.
For the basis of my support program I feel that learners will benefit more from a personal one on one teacher-pupil relationship. This program will involve the teacher taking the weaker students in small groups and working with them. During these sessions the teacher will work on the concepts that the learners found most difficult.
This support program will be focused on adding, subtracting and word problems, as this is what I predict the learners to battle most with. Since the two concepts are so closely linked I have decided to combine them.
To commence my support program I will concentrate on teaching the learners the correct terminology ("key words") in order for the learners to know what is required of them for the word problems- I feel this is important because often learners cannot understand whether they need to add or subtract the numbers because they cant single out the key words.
Keywords that the CAPS Document highlighted are:
Addition: total, altogether, sum
Subtraction: difference, less than, more then
(Republic of South Africa s.a: 96-98)
I will incorporate these "keywords" into the program by using large flash cards and ask the learners to read them out for me. After which, on the board I will have too columns addition and subtraction, and I will get the learners to place the key words under which column they think the word belongs. This way the learners are not only seeing and hearing the word, but they themselves are physically placing the word on the board.
Following the above activity we will the proceed to do a short activity where the learners work in pairs and receive a keycard with the keywords incorporated into one or two sums- which the learners then have to answer. The learners will also receive a pile of counters, which they can use to demonstrate to the teacher and the rest of the group as to how they came up with their answer.
The core activity in this support program is not anything that requires the learner to physically have to sit and answer a worksheet. This activity can be called "Number Hopscotch". The teacher will have larger number floor cards (A4 laminated pieces of paper). As this activity is wanting to develop the learners understanding of adding, subtracting and word problem keywords the numbers on the hopscotch will only go from 1 to 30 - just so learners get a general idea/understanding. Learners will work in pairs. One learner will read off of a keycard when it is their turn and the other learner will move according to where their keycard tells them. As each pairs has a turn the teacher will give the learners their keycard with instructions on it, and together they must decide what they need to do.
What is 3 less than 8? Subtract that many steps from where you are standing now.
Add 3 to the number you are standing on now.
The learners will continue to do this until they reach the number 30 (the end). Or continue to do this until learners can understand the concepts. This activity idea was generated from an activity in "Including Lower-achievers in the Maths Lessons" (Nixon and Atkinson 2007:23). However I have changed the concepts, and the main idea to better suit the needs of my support program.
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This activity will apply to all three learning styles. The visual learners could be the learners who read the keycards that way they are reading the instructions and seeing the end result (answer) once their partner has moved. The auditory learners and the kinesthetic learners can be the learners who do the moving on the hopscotch. The auditory learners will listen to the instruction and then be able to move and the kinesthetic learners will learn through physically moving so many steps forward or backwards. It is a very versatile activity that can be applied to all three learning styles.
I feel the learners will benefit overall from this support program because they will be getting personal attention and help in their area of difficulty which they will then be able to focus on. Learners may possibly feel more comfortable to ask questions and won't feel embarrassed to make mistakes because they are working in smaller groups.
While the teacher works with the weaker learners at the back of the class, the more advance learners will have the opportunity to work in pairs or group of 3's and do a worksheet-based activity- with the teachers constantly checking on the group's progress, this is how my acceleration program will be run.
The dictionary defines the word accelerate as "make or become quicker"
(Hawkins1998: 8). My understanding and definition of an acceleration program would be a program designed to help learners to extend and apply themselves, a program designed to challenge learners on specific learning contents, so that learners have a versatile approach and solution to different problems, etc.
The purpose of this accelerated program is not to advance learners' knowledge to the degree where they are to far ahead of the weaker learners but instead it is there to challenge them and to get the learners to apply their knowledge and understanding. This way learner's will be revising what they know as well as extending their knowledge and understanding.
Learners will work in their pairs/groups to complete their informal worksheet. The worksheet will be based on adding, subtracting and word problems. Learners will receive their worksheets, as well as counting manipulative that they can use to complete the worksheet. Learners will also receive an A3 size piece of paper on which they can brain storm and show their working out, which they will later explain/show to the teacher how they got their answers.
Worksheet referenced as addendum.
This activity I feel will be able to accommodate all the different learning styles. The visual learners will learn from seeing and reading the questions, as well as drawing any spider diagram etc. The auditory learner will be able to listen to the discussion among their peers or read out loud what is expected of them, and from there they will be able to gather the information needed. Lastly the kinesthetic learner will be able to learn by physically doing the questions- by using the counting chart to add or subtract the sum or using the counters in the word problems in order for everyone to visualize and fully understand the problems.
Although this worksheet is not anything overly exciting, I do however feel that it will benefit the learners in many ways: by working in pairs/groups it will help the learners to learn co-operation and team work, and it will enable the learners to learn from their peers; learners will enhance their learning and build onto their prior knowledge, while revising work they already know, it also gives the learners an opportunity to clarify anything that they were previously unsure on. The idea of this activity is not to be difficult or boring, but instead it is there for the learners' to enjoy and for them to build on their knowledge- their own personal growth.