4.1 Component 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy – Expert teachers use a variety of formative assessments along with summative assessments throughout each unit. There’re various formative assessments to consider when trying to facilitate exceptional learning in a secondary ELA class, such as pair and sh
are, quick-writes, group literature discussions, self-ratings based on rubrics, think aloud, and performance. A summative assessment would be graded heavier so a test, essay, or unit project would suffice. Misconceptions are also addressed through these assessments as well as knowledge being presented in a meaningful and effective manner. I gained a better understanding of Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy through the Understanding by Deign chapter 5 reading and the How People Learn chapter 2 reading. Figure 1, Understanding by Deign, shows a description of how formative assessments are effective for checking for understanding, and according to Bloom’s work its “vital if students are to achieve understanding and avoid misunderstandings”. I learned that it’s important to include a variety of formative assessments throughout the unit because relying solely on a couple of summative assessments as a basis for understanding does not allow teachers ample opportunity to use the assessment data for future planning as well as any changes in instruction. Additionally, I learned that assessments can’t just be varied and engaging but must have merit that ties into core curriculum in order to enhance Students’ enduring knowledge, because teachers should think of students as the innocence of understanding. Therefore, always think with the end in mind when planning lessons and assessments. Figure2, How People Learn, explains the importance of teachers being aware that students come into the classroom with preconceptions already formed, and that any misconceptions need to be addressed before continuing a lesson. I learned that it is important for teachers to provide opportunities for students to build on or challenge these preconceptions because any misconceptions can impact how they retain new concepts. Student learning is enhanced when teachers are able to anticipate students’ misconceptions through having an understanding of their students’ background knowledge in topics such as region, economic status, social, and academic knowledge. For example, a teacher would have to explain American culture and English phrases to struggling ESL learners to avoid any comprehension misconceptions. Teachers often use examples of local things to avoid misconceptions because it’s assumed that the class has a basic knowledge associated with it. Academic knowledge can be anticipated with prior communication with students’ former teachers and pre-assessments. Pre-assessments are a valuable tool to address student understanding, which can take place before a lesson or the start of a unit. This form of assessment draws out students’ preexisting understandings, which allows teachers to adjust their future lessons to address any misunderstandings or expand on students’ preexisting knowledge. A pre-assessment in ELA could be a quiz, writing/performance activity, or class discussion. For example, when introducing a new book it is always good to pre-assess students’ knowledge of the book’s author, setting, and themes. So before beginning any novel, the teacher can give a quick oral quiz based on these three things. Emerging teachers need to have a thorough understanding of pedagogy techniques before entering the classroom because otherwise students’ learning will not be effectively developed or engaging.