Stephanie Watson Data analysis and reasoning from Advanced Practicum placement with Catie Miller’s ninth grade World Literature and Speech classes. In this practicum I was assigned “Book III” of The Odyssey to teach for my lesson. The students had been reading Greek Mythology by Edith Hamilton for homework previous to the unit starting and acted out The Iliad, the Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less in class at the beginning of the unit. The first two books of The Odyssey were read in class and focused on comprehension and helping the students become close readers. Since the students had been working on comprehension for the first two books of The Odyssey, for my lesson I asked them to go one step beyond simple comprehension and summarize “Book III” with the appropriate scaffolding and support. Since the class is also a speech class, I also chose to have them give oral presentations (acting/narration) to meet both literature and speech requirements. My first formative assessment was intended to let me know that the students were, in fact, ready to move beyond comprehension to summarization of the text. Students were given a rubric to follow when planning their presentations. I used the same rubric to formatively assess their ability to summarize so. If they illustrated proficiency with the summarization activity, which they did, I would know that they were ready to move even more step up in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy and complete the summative assessment I planned for the end of the lesson.
The summative assessment I assigned, which was based on the data I gathered in the formative assessment, asked the students to make an evaluation about the text. If I had found that the groups were having trouble adequately summarizing the text, I would have changed my plans for the summative assessment and gone back to an exercise that would help them comprehend and summarize again. Since each of the groups was proficient in summarizing, I did go ahead and assign a homework essay that asked them to make an evaluation of the text because it was more cognitively challenging. I also graded the students’ summative assessments in which they were asked to choose (evaluate) which of the lessons the characters Telemachus learns is most important to him and which is most important for the progression of the story. If I would have been teaching the next lesson I would have used the data I collected from grading them to know that while the students were able to summarize the information just fine, they still needed help thinking more deeply about the text. In fact, some of the students summarized what the character learned instead of making an evaluation at all. The data I gathered from the summative assessment indicated that the teacher needed to explain what it means to make an evaluation as well as to continue to have students practice that skill.