• 6th Grade Assessment

    6th Grade Assessment

    6th Grade Assessment is an opportunity for 6th graders to “show what they know” about the research and presentation processes. The format has changed a bit from previous years. Information about the changes can be found on the district website, in addition to details below.   

    Below is an overview of the process:

    PRESEARCHING - On DAY ONE of the assessment, students are given a question to research from the two questions that they previously submitted to their homeroom teacher. The teacher reviews these questions with the school librarian to make certain there are sufficient research materials in the library. Then the teacher and librarian select a question for each student and inform him/her of his/her topic on the first day of the assessment. These questions were developed by the students after they had ample time in the library to pre-search. Pre-searching allows the students an opportunity to locate available resources, read the information in the library on the topic to make sure they understand the texts, and gain the necessary background information to formulate a question. During the first day, the students are expected to start the research process by independently finding relevant resources in the library for his/her topic. They will read about their topic and try to create subtopics based on the question and what they read. Thorough note-taking in an organized fashion will follow.
    RESEARCHING - On DAY TWO, the students will come back to the library to continue researching and note-taking. Some students may be ready to write a first draft from their notes. In this case, they will go to the computer lab to begin word processing the paper.
    DRAFTING - On DAY THREE, the students will continue to work through the writing process and draft their written reports. The written report is a multiple-paragraph, word processed, expository piece which answers their research question and draws a conclusion about the topic.
    REVISING/EDITING - On DAY FOUR, the students will get an opportunity to finalize the draft and meet in a peer response group to get feedback. The peer response group will ask questions or give suggestions to the writer that he/she will use to revise the paper. Revisions to the papers will be made in school.
    PUBLISHING - On DAY FIVE, all papers are to be finalized and turned in to the teacher. The PowerPoint will be started on this day. The students will use technology to create a visual that will further communicate their understanding of their topics. They will develop and practice an oral presentation using the visual. Students are expected to complete this visual and prepare a two-to -five-minute oral presentation on the topic they researched which will include elaboration on the information provided in the paper. The well-designed media layout should significantly enhance the topic and be used continually and effectively throughout the presentation. Students practice and rehearse their oral presentation in school during this day, and on the following Monday. Nothing will be brought home.
    PRESENTING: Each student will be assigned a day to present his/her topic to the class and a small panel of teachers. The students are encouraged to dress appropriately. The student will use the informational visual prepared the day before throughout the oral presentation. The panel may ask the student questions about the topic that was researched at the conclusion of the presentation. The students evaluate their performance using the same process rubric the assessment team uses (see attached). Students are judged on their ability to accurately evaluate their own performance using the rubric. Each student will meet with his/her teacher to discuss how he/she thought they did throughout the entire process. He/She can also set a goal to improve in the areas he/she needs to for further success.
    Time: For each day of this new format the students will be given @ 2 – 2 ½ hours. The students are expected to manage their time independently, with the library and computer lab completely available for them to use. Final copies of the written report are due by the end of the week and will be assessed by the teacher.

    Final Thoughts: Many parents ask how they can help. One of the most important things parents can do is to encourage their child. It is to be expected that some children may be a little anxious about the assessment. Whenever anyone – adult or child – is asked to perform the skills they have learned, it can be challenging. However, the experience is valuable and holds students accountable for the learning that has taken place over the years. Students need to know that they will be expected to use their knowledge in practical ways and apply the skills they have learned in school. This sets the expectation for school to be a place for the use of knowledge and the application of skills.

    Parents can also help their child by encouraging him/her to do his/her best work, apply what he/she has learned, and make the best use of available time. Dressing appropriately on presentation day, in neat attire, also helps to set the stage for confidence and the importance of the assessment. When your child talks about the assessment, you can help by reminding him/her that they have been learning all of the skills they will need to be successful throughout their elementary school career. Students have had opportunities to practice these skills in various ways and in different grades. Now they are going to pull all of these skills together in a five-day assessment. Your words of encouragement are very helpful and important. PLEASE do not help your child at home with accessing any resources online for his /her topic, or with the oral presentation. You can certainly talk to your child about what he/she is learning about the topic and encourage them to learn all that they can at school.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or the librarian. Thank you for your support and understanding with the changes to this worthwhile experience.
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