November 17, 2012
Question 2: Wormeli on Mastery
Wormeli’s position on mastery is that a student must show consistent evidence of a target skill/concept being used/applied/explained correctly. I definitely concur with this idea in that I look for mastery in my students in all academic areas. When planning lessons, I always begin with a learning objective in mind and verbalize those objectives in the form of “I can” statements. I feel that explaining the expectations and outcomes to students helps the learning process focus on the skills/ideas being examined. I plan assessments in very forms so that I can ascertain whether or not there has been mastery. Some are informal, through class discussion or conferencing with students; others may be projects or other ways to determine mastery.
For example, in our science class this year, we have been studying the solar system. The learning objective for the students was “I can discuss/apply/evaluate the sun, planets and other bodies in our solar system”. My assessment of mastery was done in several forms: class discussion in the form of a jeopardy game, student creation of a “postcard” from their favorite planet where they had to write home to a loved one on Earth telling about the characteristics of the selected planet and the creation of a candy model of the solar system. The purpose of the model was to demonstrate understanding of the position of each planet in relation to the sun as well as understanding of the sizes of each planet related to one another. The students were given choices of different types of candy that ranging in sizes and mastery of the subject matter was demonstrated by correctly placing the “planets” in their orbits and choosing candies that showed the differences in diameter between the planets. I feel that these assessments demonstrated mastery on the part of the students who were successful in these activities. Further, students who didn’t show mastery...