Supporting Powerful STEM Learning with Technology: Embedded Assessments

– [Mr. Fahy] We’re at
Pine Grove Middle School, here in east Syracuse, New York. I’m on an eighth grade team
where we transdisciplinary teach with Social Studies, Math, ELA. And we really work together to
combine lessons for students in a meaningful way. – We start every class
with a check-in question. And a check-in question
either gauges what we’ll be talking about for the
course of the lesson- sometimes they’re exploratory, where we try to get
the kids thinking about different aspects of the lesson coming up. – You’re gonna have to
speculate which one of those organisms do you think is
gonna have the largest impact on the ecosystem if you were to remove it. – [Evan] I picked the Cactus, I believe and that was because the
cactus had the most species feeding off of it, so
if it was to die out, it would have the biggest impact. – [Mr. Fahy You’ll start
reading each other’s responses and then providing some feedback. – So, in today’s class, the students were able
to come with an initial thought on their own, but instantaneously have it peer-reviewed by everyone in the class. And then were able to
synthesize those ideas into the formation of a new opinion, or enhance the ideas they already had. And the technology
really facilitates that. – [Henry] Once you submit your response, it shows the whole class and our peers actually
looked at the responses and they reviewed them and
just edited them to improve it and make even better. – [Ms. Petranchuk] The
first part of the lesson, the students are really
focused on removing something from the food chain. And so, the next part of the lesson focuses on adding something
and the effects of it. – [Ethan] Our literacy
teacher set up a type of interactive document that we read through and had questions and videos
to go along with the article that she had set up. – [Nicole] What’s cool about this is, I get your answers real-time. So, as you’re typing, when you’re done, I get your answers and then I can respond and give you a little bit of feedback, which is pretty neat. So as students were answering questions, what they were typing, comes up real-time and then I can react to it. And as soon as I type my feedback in, it pops over onto their question. – [Mr. Fahy] One of the
challenges of putting together questions in the classroom
using digital technology is, to not ask a simple yes or no question. And over the years of working
with teachers on my team, we’ve started to tease out
finer questions that allow students to really be
split on their answers. – [Ethan] Hearing my classmates responses got me to really consider the
other side of the argument and change my opinion quite a bit. – [Henry] I learned a
lot from my classmates- I do all the time, I
learn a lot from my peers as much as I do Mr. Fahy. – [Mr. Faye] When the
students are able to see, in real-time how their peers
are thinking about something, just allows the conversation
to be so much richer.

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