Teacher2Teacher 
Q&A #1577 
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From: Susan Petrey <sue@texanmath.us> To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion Date: 2007052911:16:24 Subject: How to assess all students  struggling to gifted In public education we are often faced with assessing students with a wide range of abilities. How do we assess the most gifted students (authentically) while providing some reasonal assessment instrument for struggling learners? I teach a PreAP Geometry class (a course preparing students who will eventually take AP Calculus) and I've come up with a rubricstyle of grading freeresponse questions that I use a couple of times during each grading period to really challenge the brightest students.. while still providing a safety net for weaker students. Here is how it works: I write a multipart problem asking a variety of questions. I try to incorporate several topics in the questions. Sometimes the question is strictly noncalculator, other times it requires extensive use of a calculator. I then design a rubric using a 9 point scale (same as AP Exam free response questions). Then, I assign grades as follows: 01 pt = 50%, 2  3 = 70%, 4  5 = 80%, 6  7 = 90%, 8  9 = 100%. Now, initially, many teachers think that this scale is far too generous, but after looking at the questions.. and the level of student performance, most agree in time that the scale works pretty well. The 'last point' is usually quite challenging, and thus enables the most gifted students to really work hard at problemsolving (something they rarely are able to do with more traditional assessments). You can get a sample of this type of assessment at http://texanmath.us on the student work sample page. Enjoy!
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