Final assessment idea

I’m required to give a final assessment at the end of each semester. For my 9th and 10th graders, the final is worth 15% of the semester grade (with each of the quarters in that semester counting for 42.5%), and for 11th and 12th graders, the final is 20% (each quarter 40%). Not all that SBG-friendly, since it’s not something I can reassess.

BUT…we can choose to have the students do some sort of “exhibition” in lieu of an exam. This, I think, I can work with, and still stay true to the SBG philosophy.

So today I thought of something I could have the students do. It’s not totally processed in my mind, so there are probably pitfalls and things that don’t make sense. But here’s where I am with it so far.

  1. Students choose something they’re interested in. Ideally this is some sort of issue that is important to them.
  2. Students find numbers related to their issue. They may have to look online, they may have to go somewhere and take their own measurements, they may have to call someone in the field to ask for numbers.
  3. Students perform calculations on the numbers. At this point it will tie in with the Learning Targets for their course that semester, and they will have to demonstrate and explain how they have used a certain number of concepts. (Certain number from each unit, maybe? Not sure.)
  4. Students interpret their work. What does their work do to help us understand the issue better? Does it help us develop possible solutions? What action can they take now that they have done this work?
  5. Students develop a way to present their work – maybe an oral presentation, maybe a backboard for a “Math Fair,” I’m not sure yet.

Although the product (which would be a presentation of all the work) would determine their grade on the “final,” it’s something they would be working on over the course of the semester. I imagine setting due dates for the different parts of the project, requiring students to plan out what data they will look for before they go and get it, etc.; I’m not planning to throw this out there and say “do it.” I also expect that I would offer individual student conferences (formal and informal) so that they could get feedback on their work, make sure they really are demonstrating mastery of LTs through it (there’s that opportunity for reassessment), etc.

What do you guys think of this as a final assessment?

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