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Bloom's Taxonomy is one set of tools to assess learners. Using Bloom's Taxonomy in our homeschooling will really ease the assessment process. Assessment plays important role in education as a measurement of students' achievement. In the previous posting, Academic Teaching and Learning Process Sequence, it was mentioned the forms, the tools, and the reasons to assess.
In this posting, I would like to focus on types of questions that are used in any kinds of assessments (test especially) and how I implement them in our assessment. Talking about questioning and giving assignments, an educated and knowledgable educators would refer to The Bloom Taxonomy. Please don't count on me as I am not a certified teacher background mom. I just learnt about this by reading and asking a lot to my teaching buddy and mentor. There must be someone who is much better than me to explain it, but I still try to explain it using my own words.
People are usually ignorant toward assessment as it just makes them busy, doesn't it? I also feel the same. However, it is worth done to follow up the students so that they can get their right portion on the next sessions.
Well, when we check the Bloom Taxonomy, we find 6 stages of questioning. Let me review a little bit:
Let me share with you this site Bloom Taxonomy's Question Words. There are some documents and book about this one, but I think this document is very simple.
Based on the columns which show the steps of thinking
The common text books and many test usually use the first step, knowledge. The questions and assignment given are used to measure those areas which usually leave in memory or short terms. In addition, the answer is close ended or certain as they are coping facts. Memorization will be needed to deal with this types questions. We use this steps to assess factual knowledge. Most of the time I use ready made worksheet to measure the ability of the children in knowledge. I rarely spend much time to prepare my own questions.
The second step, comprehension, will involve narration most of the time, either oral or written one. Narration will do great for comprehension step as an open ended question. While kids are doing narration, my brain is also working I have some written checklist or just stuck in mind checklist about
- the points that children have got
- some points that might be left out
- other points that might be not included
- outstanding points that are included
To make sure kids included the main points, I usually ask questions before they do narration so that they will be more confident in doing so. To clarify the left out and not included points, I usually asking questions at the end of the narration. I rarely giving marks for narration as I don't know how to do, but if marks are really needed, I will give 100% when kids have included those 4 things. However, as long as kids can give all the main points, the minimal score I will give 80%.
The third step of Bloom Taxonomy, application, is usually done by performance assessment beside some written problems. Experiment is one example of performance assessment. The final result of application play important part, but it is not the most important one. The idea and the process are more important for me. For example, baking a cake is one way of fraction and measurement application, which are parts of mathematics. When I see that points I would just ignore the burning cake that they make. However, sometimes baking cake will involve science knowledge of heat application. In this case, the burning cake will make a problem rather than the hard dough.
Going to the deeper point of assessment, we try to have analyzing challenge. There is usually some cases related with the concept that we challenge the kids. It can be from a free thought, good text book, reference, and real life. Well explained analysis will be granted some perfect score. I expect them to be able to explain their analysis rather than just showing the result. This kind of challenge is quite various, depend on what we got.
Dealing with concrete and real life, one way of applying synthesis step is by making their own problem or creating something new using the main points or concepts. Actually this is the peak of learning process for me. This is the main goal for everyone. We learn to make things new, to ease all people in doing their task.
The last but not the least is evaluation. There are two versions of Bloom's Taxonomy that I don't really care about. The first one is that the evaluation comes before synthesis, while the other is that the synthesis comes before the evaluation. Well, for me it doesn't make great problems. This step is very important as it will talk about how the whole learning process happens by looking at the previous . In doing so, we usually have discussion to review the process of thinking to improve our previous works.
Those are my short explanation about Bloom's Taxonomy. It is really helpful in our assessment to get the learning deeper and more meaningful.
At the moment I really love the open ended questions and narration as it always gives me AHA moments. There must be outstanding answer that makes me “shocked”. When I check their written narration, I always find somethings new which is taken outside our materials. I think it shows their independency in learning that start to came up.
- For Homeschooler, do you assess? What kind of assessment do you have? How do you do it?
- For Bloggers, Readers with certain hobby/passions, and Learners, do you record your progress and plan? Please share ho you do that.