Discuss how you plan to apply this to your future professional practice.

Observation and Interview

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Authentic assessment is the process of assessing what children know and can do in their most natural environments. Because science focuses heavily on processes, the presence of certain indicators helps teachers gauge students’ mastery of scientific processes (i.e., a student that selects a measuring cup to determine how much water is in a particular container has indicated that he or she is able to perform one aspect of the measuring process).

For this observe and interview your mentor teacher to develop a better understanding of various assessment techniques.

With your 2-3 year old teacher, plan to observe at least two hands-on science lessons, one implemented by your mentor teacher and one by another teacher. Before observing the lessons, ask if you may review the following:

  • The lesson plan, including the content standards, objectives, and assessment methods outlined for each lesson
  • Any pre-assessment data collected and used to inform the observed lessons

After the observations, discuss with your mentor teacher the use of authentic assessments and the data gathered from them, including pre-assessments, formal and informal formative assessments, and summative assessments, and how he or she uses that data to plan, modify, or differentiate instruction.

In 250-500 words, summarize your observations and interview, focusing on authentic assessment and how the data from those assessments were used to plan, modify, or differentiate instruction.

Discuss how you plan to apply this to your future professional practice.

“Inquiry-Based Learning: A Framework for Assessing Science in the Early Years,” by Marian and Jackson, from Early Child Development and Care (2016).


Read “5 Questions to Tackle in Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques,” by Konen, located on the Teacher.org website (2017).


Assessment Alignment and Pre-Assessment

Pre-assessments provide valuable information on what students know and guide planning. Before beginning a new unit or teaching a new concept, educators can give a pre-assessment to gauge where their students are and plan how and what to teach.

Using the grade level 2 and 3 years old of your f class, select two science standards. Each standard should be from a different science strand for that grade level. For each of the standards, write 100-250 words addressing the following:

  • Standard and aligned objectives
  • Design a developmentally appropriate, authentic pre-assessment that aligns with the standard. You may incorporate activities your mentor teacher demonstrated during the observed lesson or shared during the interview that could be used to assess the learning objectives and science standards selected.
  • Scoring criteria for measuring student performance on pre-assessment (rubric, check-list, table, etc.)
  • Explain how this pre-assessment data could be used to modify and differentiate instruction for all students.



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