Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Evaluating a PE Program

When evaluating a physical education program, it is important to look at many aspects besides cognitive learning. While student learning is important, there are other parts of evaluation that must be met. These two other parts are curriculum and opportunities and cost-effectiveness. All three are part of the concept of triangulation, which puts three concepts together to create better research.

Student learning is reviewed by evaluating assessments. In a physical education class, this could often include cognitive, affective and psychomotor learning. Using tests or written assessments are a great way to see if cognitive learning is increasing in the students. Journal writing is one of the most effective evaluations for a physical education course because the teacher will learn if the students are enjoying the class or not. Skills tests are often completed for psychomotor learning, which generally pertain to a pre- and post-test. All three domains need to be looked at to see if student learning is increasing overall.

Curriculum and opportunities needs to be reviewed constantly. In a physical education program, there often is not a curriculum built that includes assessments. The curriculum needs to be looked at to find out if there are enough opportunities for physical activity and improvement throughout the year. Especially in elementary physical education, the time spent doing physical activity is limited because of state testing. An evaluation of this program would see the need to increase time spend in physical education.

Lastly, the cost-effectiveness of the program needs to be evaluated. When looking a physical education program, it may take some time to gain all of the research necessary in order to show the cost-effectiveness. Many communities find that physical education costs a lot of money for equipment and many times students are not getting the right opportunities. A physical educator would need to show how keeping students active is limiting their disease and less money spent at the doctor’s office.

If all three of these are included in a program evaluation, then the best results will be found. Triangulation is a great way to check to make sure the results that are found are the strongest evidence to show whether the program is effective or not.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Master Grade Reaction

After reading this review on Master Grade, I felt it was necessary to try it out. I have to say I am very impressed by this software. It was so easy to input all the information and all the calculations are done for you. The attendance is great as well since I go in daily to write in attendance. I feel that all of the strengths listed previously are all there and very appealing to any teacher.

One drawback I found was when calculating the final averages. When trying to include all of the previous data from this year, I could not label the categories to say what term it was. I was left with other term and miscellaneous. I would hope that there would be some way to fix this so that I would not have send reports home to parents that would confuse them more.

Also, if someone is planning on using this program, it is important to make sure that the whole school is on board. This program would be really great for all teachers in the school to use because then report cards would be easy. Putting all of the information in at once would be the best way to print them out or email them out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grade Book

After reviewing many grade book options, I settled on Master Grade by Maxium Developments, Inc. This can be found at: This is compatible with a Mac, which was a necessity for me to use it. This program can calculate grades, put in assignments, take attendance, have a seating plan, includes comments, creates reports and can be published on the internet.

This software is extremely easy to use and appealing to the eye. All of the buttons are located on the left to get to any section necessary. Everything is easy to add and edit as the semester continues. One great feature is that the class list can include address, phone numbers and emails of the students. This could make contacting parents very easy. Also, when doing calculations, it is easy to change the grading procedure specific to each student. A scoring system can be created and used, instead of just number grades. The attendance list and seating chart, may be a necessity for a school.

If a whole school is using this, it is a good program because attendance can be taken and then put online. Also, class lists and comments could be uploaded easily and not written in by each teacher. If one class is using this, it will take some time to set it up and it will look different from other report cards coming from the school. The program would need to be used throughout the school, but it cannot integrate multiple subjects. If a school needed to send out a report card that included all of the student’s data on one, it would not be possible to do with this program.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Please consider...

After reading Marzano’s book, I realized that the feedback style I received as a student, is the same I hope to give to my students. Health and physical education teachers are often considered specialists and many people believe that grades in these courses are unnecessary. In order to change this perspective, assessment needs to be changed to show that learning is happening, and this can begin with feedback. The assessment plan should be full of assessments given for each domain.

Especially in physical education, it is important to realize that many students will not want to continue participating if they do not succeed. When creating a curriculum, it is important to make sure that options are always given for students in order to create a positive learning environment. Also, teachers should note that if a student is not succeeding, there must be some sort of corrective feedback to help the student and attempt to keep them less frustrated.

When creating an assessment plan, it is very important to include both formative and summative assessments. I feel that in health and physical education, it is easy to incorporate those assessments because they can be part of any activity. Currently, there is not much of a push for these assessments, so it is important to revamp any assessment plans that are in place now.

Marzano feels that standards have created many problems in the United States. I would agree with this because there is a lot of content to follow. In health and physical education, it is important to remember that while each class has limited time, getting skills completed is one of the most important standards to complete. It is quite possible that all of the standards will not be completed.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kindergarten Groups

This is for the kindergarten level:

• Introductions of classmates
• First day of classes
• Meet all of the other students in the class

• Self-assessment
• First day of classes
• Learn about who you are and about cooperation

• Create learning groups
• First week of classes
• Places students into teams after learning how to cooperate with others

• Talk about issues
• First weeks of class
• Teach students how to talk to others about the issues their groups are having and to work out problems

• Evaluation of progress
• Frequently throughout the semester
• Make sure students are working together and progressing

• Self-evaluation
• Mid and end of the semester
• Have students evaluate their own progress and cooperation

• Peer assessment
• Mid and end of the semester
• Have students evaluate their group members cooperation and progress

At the kindergarten level, it is important to realize that many students are egocentric and have difficulties working with others. When forming teams, it is best to put the students into groups. It can be as easy as by where they are placed in the classroom or an evaluation can be done to see what students work better in different situations. Once these teams have been made, it is important to re-evaluate the students frequently. Effective groups will be made with kindergarten students if they are constantly checked to make sure they are working together and helped with issues.

Peer ratings are difficult at this age, because many students cannot read very much. The best thing for this would be to give smiley and sad faces based on how well someone worked with others. At this age, one of the most important concepts to learn is cooperation with others, so it is important to put a focus on this.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Grade Confusion

To Whom It May Concern:

After reading the Chicago Tribune’s front-page story on grading, I found myself in complete awe that there are so many options. My daughter is in kindergarten and I felt comfortable with the 1-4 grading system this year. What I am confused about is the fact that this will be changing for next year. Why is there this need to change the grades after each school year?

I understand that my child receiving some 2s on her report card means that she needs improvement in this area. I don’t understand why we need to change this system for next year. I try to work with my daughter outside of school on the areas she needs improvement, but I cannot do this if the report card is changed each time. Will the next year include letter grades or number grades? Why can’t letter grades be used for all the grades?

While it may be shocking to you that parents don’t want to read through all the fine print of the report card, it shouldn’t be a shock that it doesn’t happen. I wish that information had been given to me at the beginning of the year explaining that the report cards will be changing each year and a new system will be used. If this article was not written, I would never have known there would be a change and my daughter would continue to perform poorly in some areas. Can we please figure something out to make this easier on everyone?


Jessica Lewis

Dear Mrs. Lewis,

After reading your concerns and the article in the Chicago Tribune, I can completely understand your confusion. Here at Wilmette School District 39, we attempt to help the children progress in every way possible, which means that standards-based grading must be used.

This grading is actually more helpful for you and the child because it tells you specifics about your child’s needs. Instead of just putting letter grades of averages, we attempt to show you how well your child’s competency in handwriting is, for example. We are currently changing this each year because we are trying to find the best grading system to use.

Letter grades that are averages of overall class assignments are not best suited for the elementary level, or for your child. We hope that you will stay patient with our testing and allow us to find the best way to educate your child. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Thank you,

Joseph Breen

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Which is better?

Criterion- and norm-referenced measurements have been debated over which is the best type of assessment. Both assessments have positives and negatives, but its up to the teacher to decide what is best for their classroom. Criterion-referenced measurement is used to compare an assessment to a learning task. Norm-referenced measurement is used to compare an assessment to the own student’s level (Linn & Gronlund, 2000).

Criterion-referenced measurement is also known as grading on a bell-curve. This has been criticized because it sorts students into categories, which can be unfair to students that perform poorly on one exam, but are placed into a different level. Criterion-referenced measurements are then used to place students into their “class” system by how well they have performed. Using this type of assessment can be considered a plus though because it is considered “democratic equality,” but this idea is not often agreed upon (Fendler & Muzaffar, 2008).

The United States classrooms are pushing to use more norm-referenced measurements, but criterion-referenced measurements are still used for standardized testing. An international look into Sweden shows that the use of criterion-referenced testing can be helpful in increasing grade point average. This is due to many different aspects and was shown to depend on the grade level and the gender of the students (Wikstrom, 2005).

While criterion-referenced measurement can be a positive, norm-referenced measurement can be as well. It does not allow for discrimination between high and low achievers. This type of grading also individually specific, so it does not compare the student to other students, which allows for more creative assessments other than just exams (Huitt, 1996).

While criterion-referenced measurement has been used often, even in the international setting, it may not always be the best choice for a teacher’s classroom. Many teachers are required to use it for standardized testing, but hopefully more teachers are beginning to use norm-referenced measurements in the classroom for their grade determination. In the end, it is up to the teacher and administration to make the final choice of how grading will occur.

Fender, L. & Muzaffar, I. (2008). The history of the bell curve: sorting and the idea of normal. Educational Theory, 58(1), 63-83.
Huitt, W. (1996). Measurement and evaluation: Criterion- versus norm-referenced testing. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved May 31, 2009, from
Linn, R. L., & Gronlund, N. E. (2000). Measurement and assessment in teaching (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Wikstrom, C. (2005). Grade stability in criterion-referenced grading system: The swedish example. Assessment in Education Principles Policy and Practice, 12(2), 125-144.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Obesity Quiz

Directions: This quiz is based on a New York Times Article on Obesity. This article can be found at It will take the students between 15-20 minutes to read the article and up to 15 minutes to take the quiz. The students should have time to read this article the night before and then take the quiz the following day.

1. What fraction of Americans are overweight or obese?
A. 1/3
B. 2/3
C. 3/4
D. 7/8

2. What percent of women are obese?
A. 33%
B. 44%
C. 55%
D. 66%

3. What does New York City require restaurants to disclose?
A. Percentage of fat
B. Nutritional labels
C. Vitamin data
D. Calorie information

4. What can the body do when it wants to maintain its composition?
A. Fast for extended periods of time
B. Skip a meal
C. Burn 100 calories
D. Eat a few less bites of food

5. How precise is the body’s innate calorie counter?
A. 93.4%
B. 92.1%
C. 99.6%
D. 98.7%

6. How many calories are in a pound?
A. 3,500
B. 4,000
C. 2,500
D. 4,500

7. What is the first environment that most strongly influences body composition?
A. First few weeks of meals after being born
B. At the age of 10
C. School meals
D. In the womb

8. Explain one reason to why obesity has become an epidemic listed in the reading.

9. The reading explained why calorie counting is an imprecise act. Write the reasons given for this.

10. Why does this article say we have never eaten well in the United States?

The quiz is a 10-point quiz, with each question worth one point. All of the answers can be found directly in the reading, but some answers are tricky because they use percentages seen throughout the reading. The teacher will learn if the students have read or not based on how well the students perform on the quiz. The teacher will also learn what the knowledge base on nutrition and obesity is. From this article and quiz, the teacher can continue a unit on nutrition that places a focus on implementing exercise into a diet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Essay Assignments

Analytic and Holistic scoring methods are two proper ways to score an essay. The two types of scoring are different in the process that is done in order to score them and the overall grading system.

An example of a holistic essay would be:

Many times, a healthy diet is not a necessity for people, even though it is very important. Please write in an essay explaining the items you ate for the past two days and how you could change those items to make them more nutritious. Your answer should have an in-depth response as to what nutritional value the new diet will have, as well as the nutritional value of the old diet.

This essay will be scored by anonymously reading all of the essays and placing them into three piles of poor, good, and great. From there, the essays will be read again within each pile and then graded. The scale will be from 1-5 and include the following:

1 – Essay does not include any nutritional information, poor grammar, spelling, and organization.
2 – Essay includes a little nutritional information, many grammar, spelling and organization errors.
3 – Essay includes nutritional information with some grammar, spelling, and organization errors.
4 – Essay has good and factual nutritional information with a few grammar, spelling and organization errors.
5 – Essay has excellent and factual nutritional information with no grammar, spelling and organization errors.

This essay will be out of 50 points, once the score has been determined.

An example of an analytic essay would be:

In current news, we have heard a lot about the new “Swine Flu.” Write an essay about the original breakout of the Swine Flu this year and your thoughts on whether it is a pandemic. Information that must be included in this essay is: how it is spread, what the symptoms are, how it is diagnosed, how you can prevent it from spreading, whether you believe this is a pandemic or not and why.

This will be graded by a 0-3 scale making sure all of the information is included as follows:

How it is spread 0 No information included 1 Little information 2Adequate information 3 Excellent information
What the symptoms are 0 No information included 1 Little information 2 Adequate information 3 Excellent information
How it is diagnosed 0 No information included 1 Little information 2 Adequate information 3 Excellent information
How you can prevent it from spreading 0 No information included 1 Little information 2 Adequate information 3 Excellent information
Reason of why it is a pandemic or not 0 No information included 1 Little information 2 Adequate information 3 Excellent information
There is a total possible 15 points and it is then doubled to make the entire essay out of 30 points.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Multiple Choice

Multiple-choice exams are a quick and easy way that educators can evaluate their student’s cognitive knowledge. They are easy to create and students are given options in order to answer the question. A multiple-choice question includes a stem and options. The stem is where most of the information should be given about what will be answered. The options include three or more answers, with one answer being the correct answer (Popham, 2003).

When using a multiple-choice exam, it is important to realize there are many advantages and disadvantages. A multiple-choice exam can include two different types of questions, which are appropriate at different levels. An incomplete statement will yield an answer that is correct and involves a lower level of cognitive thinking. A direct question will have students choosing the best answer, which requires them to really weigh the options (Popham, 2003).

These two different levels of thinking can make multiple-choice questions a major advantage. Since the questions may vary in difficulty, a multiple-choice exam will allow for different levels of cognitive thinking being included. Another major advantage of using a multiple-choice exam is that it does not tae long to score. An answer sheet can be made very quickly in order to check the student’s response. This also gives the advantage of a quick turnaround time to giving the exams back to the students (Popham, 2003).

While the advantages to using multiple-choice exams sound very positive, there are many disadvantages. One major disadvantage is that the student may not know the actual answer. Since there are choices available for the students, they may not have been able to recall the answer if a short answer question was asked. Another major disadvantage is that all levels of cognitive intelligence cannot be assessed. Students cannot put in their own creativity and are limited in their responses (Popham, 2003).

Multiple-choice exams are easy exams to implement in the classroom, at the expense of creativity. When content knowledge is the most important domain to be assessing, a multiple-choice exam is one of the best ways to assess the students. Other assessments may be necessary when a teacher wants to assess the students at a higher level of thinking.

Popham, J. (2003). Test better, teach better: The instructional role of assessment. Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why I love Psychometrics

Psychometrics plays a role in everyone’s life, even though it is not at the forefront of many minds.  Psychometrics is the field of study that studies knowledge, attitudes, abilities and personality traits.  Each piece of psychometrics are seen through my daily life and help me understand myself better.

In my own schooling, there were many tests completed to see if a student was keeping up with the status quo of the remainder of the class.  While these tests were not always IQ tests, the administrators often found whether the student had been learning or not.  A lot of this learning was attributed to the student’s knowledge base and it sometimes decided whether the student would move on in their classes. 

These tests that were completed to find the knowledge base in education were created from the Classical Test Theory (CTT).  This is just one sub-section of psychometrics, but an important one.  The CTT is often used in schools to test reading, writing and mathematics knowledge.  There are types of error involved in the CTT, which helps to create the observed score, but in my experience administrators don’t often take this into account.

Personality is one of the other major sections of psychometrics that I have seen prominent in my life.  While IQ testing and educational testing have been completed repeatedly, personality testing is often forgotten about.  When I was working in the Counseling Center at Ithaca College, I was able to take some of the personality tests that were given by the counselors.  I found these very interesting because it gave me more insight into my abilities and myself than any other test.  The other two major sections of psychometrics are really focused on intelligence and knowledge, but personality testing also includes attitudes and abilities.

I believe that it is important to include psychometrics into the classroom and everyday life because it can give valid information about a person.  While testing always involves error, the CTT and personality tests are reliable sources of data.  The data can then be measured and people can be held accountable, which is a necessity in the current school system and life. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nutrition Game

Name/Title: Nutritional Nutrients

Purpose: To create an alternative assessment board game in order to review for the Nutrition Unit Exam and the Food Pyramid. To review following topics: Grains, Vegetables/Fruits, Dairy, Meat/Beans, and Fat/Oils.

Grade Level: 7-9

Materials Needed: Poster board, markers, tape, glue, index cards, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, class notes, and other craft supplies.

Assignment Description:
Students will be assigned into groups of 3-4 and then assigned a topic that is related to the Nutrition Unit Exam and the Food Pyramid. The five topics are:
1. Grains
2. Vegetables/Fruits
3. Dairy
4. Mean/Beans
5. Fat/Oils
The groups will make a board game that includes 15-20 questions that are similar to the Food Pyramid and class notes. Information must come directly from notes and all answers should be included separately. All instructions and rules should be created to make the game creative and have a clear end result. The board should be colorful and creative with unique game pieces.

Criteria to be graded:
• 15-20 questions
• Information directly taken from notes
• Separate sheet of paper for answers
• Separate sheet of paper with instructions and rules of the game
• Creative and focused strategy
• Colorful and creative board
• Unique game pieces

Administration Description:
Creation of Assessment:
The teacher will make all materials available for the students and will provide class time to work on their projects. Teacher will be available for any questions and the teacher will provide an example board game created last year on STIs.

Class Activity:
Once the projects have been completed and reviewed to grade, the teacher will have the groups rotate to play the other games in order to review the other topics. The groups will have 10 minutes at each game board, including their own, to play and then will rotate. The teacher will make sure that there are peer evaluation sheets available for each student. The teacher will walk around the classroom to make sure that students are on task and advise students.

Scoring Methods:
The teacher to make sure all the criteria were followed and that all questions were related to the Nutrition Unit Exam and the Food Pyramid by evaluating each board game. Also, the students will do peer evaluations of each other’s board games.

Check Sheets/Rubrics:
The following rubric is used for the questions that follow:
5 – All criteria covered and came directly from notes
4 – Most criteria covered and came directly from notes
3 – Criteria was covered or did not come directly from notes
2 – Criteria was somewhat covered and did not come directly from notes
1 – Criteria was not covered and did not come directly from notes

5 – Very colorful and creative
4 – Mostly colorful and creative
3 – Colorful and creative
2 – Somewhat colorful and creative
1 – Not colorful or creative

Questions that board games will be graded on:
• Were there 15-20 questions?
• Was information directly taken from notes?
• Was there a separate sheet of paper for answers?
• Was there a separate sheet of paper with instructions and rules of the game?
• Was there a creative and focused strategy?
• Was it a colorful and creative board?
• Were there unique game pieces?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Once upon a time there was this student who...

Once upon a time there was this student who did very poorly in school. Penelope was on her way to failing all her classes when her “parents felt instead of just failing her, she should be tested” (T.S., May 18, 2009). They felt that if Penelope was going to succeed, she might need to be placed into a different section of the class. Her parents quickly did some reading and found that their student may need a new teaching style because “multiple intelligences identify and help explain the vast differences in the ways in which people learn” (L.K., May 16, 2009).

The teacher was a young man that felt he was always right no matter what. It was his first year teaching and he was not going to let just any student mess up his perfect class. He responded to the parents concerns by attempting to change the topic. He said, “‘Although teachers sometimes struggle with creating quality goals and objectives to meet state and national standards’ (D.H., May 13, 2009), I have never had any issues with this.”

Penelope’s parents were floored with this response and went straight to the administration, who seemed to have little advice as well. The administration looked over Penelope’s file and saw how poorly her tests and in class assignments were. Her parents repeatedly told them that she needs to take a multiple intelligence test, but all the administration had to say was “ I recommend that teachers seek alternative methods of assessment that are authentic and provide students with an equal playing field for success” (T.L., May 19, 2009). Penelope’s parents left in disgust with themselves because they knew how important it is to “understand and get to know a school” (R.P., May 12, 2009) and now had to deal with the consequences.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NCLB and Assessment

There are eight very important concepts that teachers should realize effect their students learning very easily. The eight concepts are No Child Left Behind (NCLB), alternative assessment, traditional assessment, norm-referenced measurements, criterion-referenced measurements, IDEA, universal design, and standards-based educational reform. Some of these concepts can be very helpful to student learning, while others may hinder their learning.

One of the most important concepts I believe is NCLB. Many people do not fully understand NCLB in the health and physical education profession because it may not be directly related. It specifically targets reading, math and science, so many specialty teachers do not realize that it is also effecting their time. Goals are set up by the schools to achieve high student achievement, as well as testing that is completed at the end of each year for grades 3-8. If so much time is spent on meeting these goals, the students will not be allowed as much time in the elective classes, such as health, physical education, music and art. All over the country we are seeing music and art being removed from schools and physical education time being decreased. If NCLB were abolished, schools could still make goals for themselves and attempt to achieve these goals, but not be held so accountable that other activities need to be taken away. Many people argue that if NCLB were abolished, then school achievement would decrease, but it is possible that it would increase because students are allowed to learn other topics.

Another concept that I find to be extremely important is alternative assessment. I find that traditional assessment fall directly in line with NCLB and standards-based educational reform. Traditional assessments have students take quizzes, exams and do worksheets for homework. They do not allow a student to express themselves in other ways that may help a different learning other than linguistic succeed. Traditional assessments are easy to grade and funnel student learning into one spectrum, which is necessary for NCLB to work to hold schools accountable. Using alternative assessments would allow students to express themselves through music, essays, demonstrations, and more. This widens the spectrum because students are answering the way they feel is best and are teaching other topics related to the one introduced, which increases learning. While this may be more difficult to grade on the NCLB standards, it would be a change that could help increase student achievement.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Multiple Intelligences

The theory of multiple intelligences was created by Gardner to show that not all people learn the same ways, but may be just as intelligent as another person. A person may be very bright in music, but their interpersonal skills may be lacking. Gardner’s theory focuses on how different people learn differently, by breaking learning into eight different categories. The categories are linguistic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical-mathematical, body-kinesthetic, spatial and, most recently, naturalist.

All of the categories apply specifically to the way a person takes information in to process it. In my own example I scored very highly in the interpersonal category on a multiple intelligence test. I generally learn information better if I am working in a group of people or talking with another person in order to find the information. I did not score well on intrapersonal, so I would not take in information as well if they were in a situation that forced them to work alone. Each category follows this same type of process in order for people to really learn the information. In my experience, I always work better in groups, so I was not surprised that my interpersonal intelligence was much higher. I also know that when working alone, I have a more difficult time focusing and creating the best results possible.

A teacher must be able to teach to all types of intelligences and be able to supply different opportunities on the same assignment since not all students will excel the same way. Following this multiple intelligences will help a teacher develop a curriculum that ensures equal chances for everyone to succeed.

This continues to assessment by teachers creating assessments that adhere to each type of intelligence. The teacher can create an assignment that is authentic to the student, which allows the student to use their best intelligence to complete the assignment. After the assignment is completed, the teacher must be able to evaluate and grade evenly by accepting all the intelligences as possibilities for the student to use.

All teachers should look at multiple intelligences in order to keep students engaged and learning at their highest level. Students should be able to take tests like I did to find what intelligence level they work best at. If these opportunities are presented to the students, there will probably be an increase in success rates in the classroom.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bloom's Taxonomy

All three learning domains, cognitive, psychomotor, and affective, are all necessary in order to help the whole student learn. Benjamin Bloom made the cognitive domain more specific by breaking it down into six levels. Each level becomes more complex as it continues and attempts to increase student learning, which is seen through the verbs associated with each level. When creating cognitive objectives, it is important to think about each level of thinking that the objective is in order to make the objective developmentally appropriate.

The lowest level of thinking is knowledge and it includes the basic levels of thinking. This includes memorizing, repeating, defining and listing, for example. The next level is understanding, which includes explaining, recognizing, reviewing and classifying. Many times objectives are written at these two levels because they are easily measured. Reminder, these are the two lowest levels of cognitive learning, so for older students it is best to avoid these levels.

Application is the next level, which includes demonstrate, sketch, schedule and write. This is also very easily measurable, but requires the student to create something rather than repeat it. The next level is analysis, which includes analyze, examine, question and test. Objectives that are written at this level usually are written for upper middle school students because it requires more of a knowledge base than others.

The last two levels are synthesis and evaluation. Synthesis includes verbs like arrange, collect, prepare, and propose. Evaluation includes verbs like argue, assess, evaluate, and support. These two levels are usually done at the high school age and continued into the college levels.

When writing objectives, remember that it is important to be clear and concise. The ABCD’s of objective writing should be looked at before writing objectives and reviewed when finishing. To create developmentally appropriate cognitive objectives, it is important to look at Bloom’s Taxonomy and decide the best level for the class.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Standards, Goals and Objectives

Standards, goals, and objectives should be at the basis of every lesson and curriculum created. Standards are the main basis that should always be looked at. Either the state or national level is good to include in a curriculum. Many schools want the state standards to be used when creating a curriculum because they are often more specific and include the same concepts that are created in the national standards.

Goals are created to specify the standards more to the curriculum. They are still broad statements, but they often break down the standards into areas to different elements that the curriculum hopes to meet. Objectives are another break down of standards and goals. Often, objectives are written carelessly and are not specific enough for someone to read and understand what will happen in the lesson. An objective should give enough information so that someone could read them and understand what learning will go on during the lesson and curriculum.

The goals and objectives I wrote today were focused on the Health Standards for Massachusetts. I wanted to focus on health education because I often find it more difficult to write health objectives. Before writing these objectives, I read over the information on the ABCD’s of objectives. This is a quick way to remember what is necessary in an objective. The A (Audience) focuses on the who in the lesson, which would be the students. The B (Behavior) is what the students will be doing during the lesson, which should be the measurable portion of the objective. The C (Condition) is information on when the activity will take place. The D (Degree) gives the criteria for how well a student should do the activity.

Today I realized that the ABCD's helped create the objectives that I write in all my lessons very much because it is often forgotten to add the D in a health lesson. I realized that when looking at my objectives, as well as the objectives of my classmates, Ithaca College has truly prepared me to create very good goals and objectives. Standards, goals, and objectives are necessities for lesson plans and quality objectives can really make or break any lesson.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Educational standards are necessary to create a curriculum that works to meet a common goal. There are standards at the National level and standards at the State level. The National standards are generally a broad basis of what a curriculum should try to accomplish. The state standards are usually more specific and often come with more detailed benchmarks on how the standard could be met.

I wanted to focus on the health education standards in the state of Massachusetts and the state of Nevada. My research led me down two very different paths. The Massachusetts standards encompassed all grades from Pre-K-12 and were more specific than the National standards. When comparing the two standards I looked at to the National standards, I found that the state standards were more specific to curriculum building, which would help make a health curriculum easier. The two standards, Family Life and Disease Prevention and Control, were specific to units that a health teacher would complete when teaching a course. Another person’s research on the Massachusetts health standards showed similar information on standards, such as Growth and Development and Physical Activity and Fitness.

The Nevada standards were very closely related to the National Standards. The state specifically uses the standard, but breaks down the standard into different benchmarks, based on the grade level. I am very interested in middle school health, so I chose to look at the first standard, Core Concepts, and the break down for grades 6-8. The two benchmarks that I chose to look at were for Personal Health and Substance Use and Abuse. Both of these benchmarks acted similarly to the Massachusetts’ standards by being more specific in order to create a curriculum.

I believe that the National Standards are a bit weaker than the standards created by each state because the state can focus on the current trends it wants to curb. The obesity trend in the United States may be more prominent in the south, so a curriculum would want to focus on physical activity more than other states. The National Standards are very strong at giving direction to the states on where their programs should be heading.

While each state has their own standards, there really is not anyone that can enforce them but the school system. Often, many of these standards may not be met and students will be receiving the best education out there. I feel that in order to use the standards more effectively, there should be a process created to enforce the standards.

Overall, the standards are a positive way to create a curriculum and could be used more effectively if they were enforced. Both the National and State level standards should be used when creating a curriculum because they each show a different view of the information that should be taught.