Literacy in Context Assessment - Science Education Essay

  • Length: 12 pages
  • Sources: 12
  • Subject: Teaching
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #20532107

Excerpt from Essay :

Literacy in Context Assessment - Science


Literacy Context Assessment -- Science

Literacy in Context Assessment -- Science

Brief Student Profile -- Student Unnamed

This student is in year 3. Compared with other students from this year, the student's handwriting is clear and neat. The student exhibits basic to intermediate understanding of the assignment and the information that is vital in order to complete the task. The child is like not at the top of his/her class, due to spelling issues and problems in sentence formation. It is additionally unclear as to what to degree science interests this student.

Analysis of Student's Work Sample

The paper will analyse the student sample is from a child in Year 3 and how the sample demonstrates the demands for since in Year 3. The work sample takes the shape of a work sheet. On the left half of the sheet, there are squares meant for illustration. To the right of each square, there are blank lines for student descriptions, observations, and captions.

In the first square, the child drew a natural landscape with grass, the sun, hills, and a tree. The tree casts a shadow because of its position relative to the sun, as illustrated in the child's first square. Next to this square, the sentence reads, "At Mid afternoon, the shadow is a liltte bigger." This shows that the child understands that the sun appears to move across the sky over the course of a day. This sentence additionally shows that the child understands that factors such as the Earth's rotation and the relative position of the sun affect the shape and position of shadows from objects on the Earth's surface. There are some minor spelling and punctuation issues in this sentence, but not so severe that the errors interfere with comprehension by the reader/grader nor do they reveal severe deficits in comprehension in the student.

The second square shows strong evidence of understanding of linear time. This drawing also shows understanding of movement of celestial bodies, and some of the effects of those movements as perceived from the Earth's surface. The student retained and applies the information learned from the lesson fairly well. The caption on this square reads, "In the Evenng the shadow are long again." Again, there are some mechanical errors in the writing.

There is also some subject verb agreement problems in the sentence. Regardless of these errors, the handwriting is very clear and despite the mechanical problems, there is still some clarity to the student's writing. The mode of the text is appropriate for the task at hand. The student writes general yet descriptive statements for each square. In the section of the paragraph, the mode changes, and this affects the quality and the nature of the students writing, in addition to revealing more complex literacy issues that need attention.

Below these squares is a paragraph. The instructions are to "Explain the results." In this space, the child recapitulates the visual and written information above, and continues to elaborate upon what has already been written for additional context. The child explains how he/she understands the Earth's rotation relative to the Sun's position. The child understands that planet Earth rotates on an axis. It is unclear whether the child understands that the Earth additionally rotates around the sun. The child understands that the side of the Earth that faces the sun as it rotates is the side where it is daytime. The child furthermore comprehends that as the Earth rotates away from the sun, it becomes darker and the side that is not facing the sun during rotation experiences night.

Overall, the child demonstrates understanding that these facts are directly related to how we perceive and experience shadows on Earth because of rotation. The child writes that the sun stays still and the Earth is the object that moves. It is not unclear as to whether the child does not understand that the sun also rotates on an axis and around the center of the galaxy, or that this material has simply not be gone over as part of instruction yet. Finally, the child writes that it is the movement of the sun and the positioning of the Earth relative to the sun that produces shadows and causes them to move. The sentences are either very short and choppy, or they are run-ons. There are little spelling errors, and minor grammatical issues. The child makes a sincere effort to reproduce appropriate surface features, though does not consistently succeed.

Student's literacy learning needs as demonstrated by this work sample:

Field Knowledge

This student seems to have very clear thinking and a strong grasp on the concepts learned in science class, yet the students writing and literacy skills are not on par with the student's understanding of the material. There is a clear gap between what the student understands and how effective the student is at written communication. The student made an effort to demonstrate and apply technical terms of the lesson, such as rotation and shadow. The work sample shows that the student has some knowledge, but that either the lack of understanding of the scientific concept is affecting the student's writing about it, or that the student's lack of writing & literacy skills are affecting how well the student articulates the knowledge possessed.

Knowledge of the types of texts used to display knowledge in Science class

The student shows that he/she is capable of writing a complete sentence of moderate length that expresses one complete thought, such as in the descriptions next to the squares with illustrations. These are the best structured sentences in the work sample.

When the student is prompted to write a paragraph, or at least a longer explanation than one sentence, this is where the student shows the greatest lack of skills. The student shows signs that he/she needs assistance in structuring longer ideas and arguments. The student moreover shows signs that developing and organizing big ideas is an issue that needs work, too. The student would benefit from reviewing text types, such as a scientific report, or maybe even reading art texts, to have a clearer idea of what a proper caption is and what is should do.

Knowledge of the language features of relevant text types

In the paragraph explanation, the student's sentences were either too long or too short. The longest sentence sounded like stream of consciousness or how one might verbalize the answer if asked orally. To me, this shows that the student is probably better at oral communication that written communication. These are signs that the student's literacy skills require improvement and strengthening. The student does not effectively mimic language features for descriptive and organised text types. There is some use and misuse of the universal present tense. The bulk of the text lacks cohesion and clear separation of individual thoughts.

Literacy Strategies

If this student were one of my students, I would definitely design strategies to support this student's literacy development in the subject area of science. The student clearly already has a basic understanding of scientific principles, so that is something to be positive about because it is a start. The nature of the student's literacy problems would be of a completely different order if the student additionally had trouble understanding the content on a very basic level.

This student has a few literacy needs that need to be addressed. The student needs fundamental guidance about how to construct complete sentences. The student would benefit from instruction about basic parts of speech and what they do, such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. This student, as part of instruction regarding sentence structure, would also benefit from lessons about basic punctuation marks, including commas, periods, and question marks. These lessons would tighten up the student's sentences and make the thoughts that they express much more clear. Improvement in this area would additionally make the student's tone in his/her writing sound more confident.

Interactive Media in Group-based learning

One literacy strategy I would design and implement for this and other students such as the one who produce the analyzed sample, would be reading aloud along with still or moving images during science class. It might be antiquated in the 21st century, but film strips for the student would be great. The students would have one image to focus upon for several seconds, at least as long as it takes for a student to read the caption or description (from an accompanying workbook, script, etc.) to read it. Students could combine several skills in this strategy. They would connect an image to the subject of science. They would connect an image with reading and writing, just as in the work sample. The student would read the caption from the film strip script/workbook, or if the text is on the image, onscreen. This exercise connects reading, writing, speaking, listening, and visuals altogether. This is a strategy that approaches literacy from many angles. The students should be better able to verbally articulate their…

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