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Keywords: formative assessment, CCE, mathematical skills, abstraction, mensuration, area,

trapezium, GeoGebra

44 At Right Angles | Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2014 in the classroom

I

n the last entry in my teacher’s diary on classroom assessment,

I had reiterated the importance of and the need for assessment- both formative and summative. I had decided to start the

year with the topic of mensuration and had included the sample

diagnostic test for the students I would be meeting that year in std.

VIII.

After administering this test, I was able to gain good insights

about my students’ understanding of this topic. The performance

of the class encouraged me to divide the group into five groups

in such a way that students who had solved particular questions

could be part of particular groups. Each group was assigned

specific questions from the test and were required to present

their solutions to the rest of the class. This engaged the students

in collaborative learning within groups. Each group then made a

small presentation to the rest of the class and I also tried to ensure

that students, who had not solved some of the questions during the

test, did so later. Finally, each student worked individually on, and

submitted their corrections.

Teacher’s Diary

on Classroom

Assessment – II

Sindhu Sreedevi &

Sneha Titus

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At Right Angles | Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2014 45

In token form at least, there is now a paradigm

shift in the role of a child in the classroom from

that of a passive listener to that of an active

participant. The position paper Teaching of

Mathematics (NCF 2005) says “The higher aim

(of teaching mathematics) is to develop the child's

resources to think and reason mathematically,

to pursue assumptions to their logical conclusion

and to handle abstraction. It includes a way of

doing things, and the ability and the attitude to

formulate and solve problems”. To this end, my

role as a teacher is to facilitate learning in the

classroom using various pedagogical techniques.

Consequently, assessment takes on an even more

important role. Observing students’ work, keeping

anecdotal records and timely feedback are key

components of this process. Hands on activities

such as paper folding, writing graphing stories,

working with dynamic geometry software, etc.,

home assignments and classroom dialogues

can be a source of evidence for both teacher

and student alike. Assessment needs to provide

answers for two questions:

How is the student evolving as a learner?

What can I do to facilitate that learning?

As I planned my work for the year, based on

the CCE Manuals for Teachers brought out by

CBSE in 2009, I realised that continuous and

comprehensive evaluation would be daunting in

terms of work load.

In the scholastic areas, subject teachers (Hindi,

third language, English, Social Science, Science,

Science and Mathematics) are required to award

marks for various tests conducted as part of

Formative and Summative Assessment for each

student studying in classes VI- X. In each year,

the formative tests have 40% weightage and

summative tests carry 60% weightage. In my

school, there were four formative assessments

each year and within each formative assessment,

written tests (called pen and paper tests) get 50%

weightage and other activities get 50% weightage.

Under CCE, for all the subjects taken together, a

student is required to work on 70 projects and

appear for 40 examinations within a period of 8

to 9 working months (this includes 4 quiz /oral

tests in mathematics). Each teacher is required to

complete the following proforma (see Figure 1)

subject wise for each formative assessment

containing the details of marks scored by each

student. Besides conducting four formative

assessment tests, the teachers are required to

conduct two summative tests as well.

I realised that unless I modified the assessment

criteria, I would not be able to spend sufficient

time on reading students’ note books and looking

carefully at the projects and on assessing their

projects and activities. The sheer variety of modes

of assessment would leave no time for remedial

teaching based on my formative assessment.

Class :

Subject : Maths

S.No. Name of

Student

Pen-Paper

Test

Lab

Activities

Project

Work

Assignments Home

Work &

Class

Work

MCQ/

Quiz/

Oral

Total 100

Marks

are to be

reduced

to 10%

50 10 10 10 10 10 100

Figure 1 : Formative test proforma for Mathematics

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46 At Right Angles | Vol. 3, No. 1, March 2014

Task 1: Draw a trapezium ABCD with parallel

sides AD and BC.

Task 2: Find the perpendicular distance between

the parallel sides.

Task 3: Divide the trapezium into 2 right angled

triangles and a rectangle. (See Figs. 2 and 3 for the

GeoGebra sketches)

Task 4: Find the area of each of these polygons

and hence find the area of the trapezium. Show

your calculations. (This is important as GeoGebra

can give the area of each polygon if required)

Task 5: Repeat the above calculation for a

trapezium for which the parallel sides are of

lengths a & b with h being the perpendicular

distance between them.

With the encouragement of a supportive principal,

I re-worked the model for formative assessment

and proposed the following format

FA1: Pen - pencil 40% + Lab Activity 50% +

Homework 10%

FA2: Pen - pencil 40% + MCQ/Quiz/Oral

50% + Homework 10%

FA3: Pen - pencil 40% + Individual Project

Work 50% + Homework 10%

FA4: Pen - pencil 40% + Group Work &

Presentation 50% + Homework 10%

I tried to plan my assessment in such a way that

my over arching goal of students moving from the

concrete to the abstract would be assessed in each

session. I also kept in mind the following sub-skills

while proceeding with the assessment.

i. Use and understand mathematical

language including symbols

ii. Generalize from specific results

iii. Apply logical thinking

iv. Appreciate the notion of proof

Since remedial teaching was core to the success

of formative assessment, I had to allocate time

for this after each test. For FA 3 & 4, I decided to

assign projects to the class in groups of 10. These

would be designed such that the individual project

work in FA3 would be consolidated and put

together in FA4. Through this, co-scholastic areas

such as collaborative work as well as artistic and

presentation skills could be assessed. Students

would also have an opportunity to improve on

their individual projects based on the teacher’s

feedback which is the true meaning of formative

assessment.

Along with the annual plan I also structured

my classroom assessment carefully. I used

questioning as a method to keep track of students’

knowledge and understanding of the concepts.

The next section of the article describes a lab

activity which was conducted by me to enable the

students to ‘discover’ the formula of the area of a

trapezium. Students already knew the definition of

a trapezium. They were also familiar with the use

of GeoGebra, an open source dynamic geometry

software for exploring geometrical shapes.

Figure 2 Figure 3

LAB ACTIVITY TO ‘DISCOVER’ THE FORMULA FOR THE AREA OF A TRAPEZIUM