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Sunday, August 26, 2012

TIMELINES OFFER POTENTIAL AS EXAMPLES OF ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS FOR ELLS

Mainstream content teachers may like this form of an alternative assessment--a timeline.  Students in teams or with partners could opt to generate a detailed timeline on a topic of their choice which is tied to the content lesson or theme.  This can be done on paper, in a power point, via a student designed website, etc. 

Once the timeline is created, teachers can proceed to having students do research on each of the elements included in the timeline.  With the use of a graphic organizer, ELLs (and others) can select the key points for each item that they will later have to develop into a sentence or two which will be added to the timeline.  Since ELLs with be working with partners or in small structured cooperative groups, writing such sentences should proceed along without many, if any, glitches.  After all, the teacher will be facilitating as needed.

After the timeline is complete, students could be required to complete an essay graphic organizer around a central theme in their timeline.  Once they decide on a theme, they would move on to generating a thesis statement on the importance of their event, invention, etc. selected.  Again, especially with ELLs, allow ELLs to create this essay as a member of team.  Eventually, they will need to produce their own, but initially, this type of support builds skills and self-confidence.

Below is a timeline I found fascinating:

THE EVOLUTION OF CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY
As a teacher, I could not resist this one:)  Technology has definitely improved over the last 362 years!  Imagine using this as a example of what students should be aiming for in creating their own.   Further, teachers can model the process of creating a timeline so students will know what is expected of them in designing their own.  If students select topics of importance to them, they are more likely to experience success:)

Denise

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