Teaching “Service” Inside Assessments

This semester our assessment class was asked to create a “service” project for their final project. This assignment was given with three outcomes in mind. The first learning outcome  was to acquire a holistic snapshot of students that tradtional assessment cannot bring to the instructional platform. The graduate students/teachers were asked to assess their students in three formative ways so that the strengths, learning styles, and learning profiles could be observed and noted. The second outcome was to sit beside our students and take them on a journey outside themselves. It is developmentally appropriate that upper elementary, middle school and secondary students are driven and implement “ego” and the “I” in almost every facet of life, but this assignment was created to take them outside of their own worlds and into the challenges of other children andf adolescents  in other areas… far or near. The third outcome was to emotonally engage students while incorporating state and common core standards… this was a pleasant surprise to many of the teachers as they discovered the engagement was higher, the content felt more relevant and meaningful and the standards were integrated and learned well inside the assignments.  There are also power points that I will post but I wanted you to see a few of these assignments and reflections.  I would love  your feedback and thoughts or other ideas!





Meghan Ryan
April 2012

EDU 533: Assessment


Service Project: Bullying Awareness Lesson Plan

Standards Addressed:

  • 8.2.9 Make reasonable statements and draw conclusions about a text, supporting them with accurate


  • 8.4.2 Create compositions that have a clear message, a coherent thesis (a statement of position on the

topic), and end with a clear and well-supported conclusion.

  • 8.5.1 Write biographies, autobiographies, and short stories that:

• tell about an incident, event, or situation, using well-chosen details.

• reveal the significance of, or the writer’s attitude about, the subject.

• use narrative and descriptive strategies, including relevant dialogue, specific action,

physical description, background description, and comparison or contrast of characters.

  • 8.5.7 Write for different purposes and to a specific audience or person, adjusting tone and style as necessary.
  • 8.6.5 Use correct punctuation.
  • 8.6.6 Use correct capitalization.
  • 8.6.7 Use correct spelling conventions.

Day 1: (45 minutes)


  • SWBAT understand the potential neurological impact of bullying
  • SWBAT evaluate the implications bullying has had on their lives


  1. Warm Up (5)
  2. Introduction (5)
  3. Article (15)
  4. “Bully” Preview (5)
  5. Discussion and Survey (10)
  6. Exit Ticket (5)


  • Warm Up
    • Students will be handed a sticky note when they enter the room
    • Students will read the question on the board (or chart paper)
      • “There is a myth in our society: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”
        • How does this relate to bullying?
    • Students will answer the question on their sticky note (may require prompting and clarification)
    • Students will write their answer on the sticky note and place it on the board
    • Students will then volunteer to discuss their answers
  • Introduction
    • Students discuss bullying in general (make this open ended and allow students to drive instruction
    • Teacher shares personal story
      • Make this up if necessary,  but make it relatable
      • I shared a story about my brother being bullied on the bus
      • It has to hit home and they need to feel sorry for you or whoever you are talking about in order to make a emotional connection
    • Allow students to make any other comments
  • Article
    • Students will read an article related to bullying
    • Can be any article that will engage them and make them think about bullying in a new way
    • We read “Inside the Bullied Brain: The Alarming Neuroscience of Taunting”
      • This article is different because it shows physical damage that bullying can cause
      • Students read the article as a class (popcorn read, volunteers, etc)
      • Teacher pauses to clarify words, or to clarify a paragraph
      • Students discuss the final question: how does this affect how bullies are prosecuted
  • “Bully” Preview
    • Students watch the preview for the movie “Bully”
    • I prep the students beforehand: “You are going to see students who may look different or who you might normally want to make fun of, but I challenge you to put yourself in their shoes. Pretend that was you…how would you feel if you were scared to come to school every single day?”
    • Students will watch the preview silently
  • Discussion and Survey
    • We will discuss the movie – allow student thoughts to drive the instruction
      • Could mention that the movie received an R rating at one point (this may have changed but we did not go into this in depth; it did not enter intrinsically into the conversation)
      • Discuss how much teen suicide is in the news
      • Again, allow STUDENTS to drive discussion and reward their thought-provoking, personal responses with specific praise
    • Students will take a survey (attached)
      • Students are encouraged to keep the survey anonymous
      • Students are encouraged to answer honestly and be straightforward in their answers
      • Encourage students particularly to put a fear that they have about school (current or in past)
  • Exit Ticket
    • We did not have one, but you could alter the survey questions and use the last question as an exit ticket
    • You could also ask students how their opinions or thoughts about bullying have changed since this lesson

Day 2:


  • SWBAT understand how bullying has impacted those around them
  • SWBAT evaluate the implications bullying has had on their lives


  1. Warm Up (5)
  2. Gallery Walk (15)
  3. Project Intro (10)
  4. Journal (15)


  • Warm Up
    • Students will answer a connection questions from yesterday (varies)
    • Students will pick up the warm up or have it on their desk
    • When students finish, they are to silently glance around the room at the charts on the wall
  • Gallery Walk
    • Teacher will have taken several quotes from the surveys and placed them on chart paper around the room
      • Could focus on fears or on impact of bullying
      • Allow the survey to guide the gallery walk focus- makes it more relevant to students
    • Students will receive 3-5 sticky notes (depending on number of quotes)
      • Students will have to make comments on 3-5 charts
        • Positive note of encouragement
        • Personal connection of how you can relate
        • Another connection of your choosing (disagreement statements?)
    • Students will walk around SILENTLY (model this for lower level) and make comments
      • Can limit number of students at each station
      • Can divide sticky note contents by color, shape, size, etc
  • Project Intro
    • Teacher will introduce ongoing project directions
      • This is part of your grade
      • Assessing: writing standards and analysis standards
        • Weekly journal responses
        • Colored bands
      • Assessing: behavior (teacher assessment)
        • How are students changing how they treat each other in the classroom?
        • Teacher modeling effectiveness
        • Track write-ups, warnings, parent calls and see classroom improvement over time
          • Use excel
          • Use classroom tracker visible to students
      • Assessing: engagement
        • Are kids into this project?
        • How does competition drive them?
        • Track students sleeping, comments made, dedication to project
  • Journal
    • Could be a weekly project, could be bi-weekly or monthly
    • Options for styles
      • Let-It-Out Style: Get stress off your chest with writing
      • Focus on an article about bullying: writing response
      • Read a personal story and respond to it with a personal connection

Ongoing Project Directions:

 Directions:  Write fears from survey and journal are printed on individual strips of black paper to cover the ceiling. As students see other students say things nice about others or words of encouragement (or teachers see nice things) they can write it on a colored strip of paper (divided by class) and then they will cover the darkness of fear with positive words. Eventually the ceiling will be covered in positive words of encouragement instead of negativity and you will (hopefully) be able to physically demonstrate positive classroom culture!


Students responded in a different way than expected. They sympathized much more than I anticipated and did not seem to have problems empathizing with the situation. I think something that I learned from their surveys was how taboo the word “fear” is. So many of them wrote how they do not fear anything and will fight anyone. This disturbed me because I guess I realized that this would be the answer for some students, but did not anticipate that this would be such a widespread answer. I think that it was very relevant and we had some very thought-provoking classroom discussion because of this. I only wish that I could have extended the project further and continued with the entire lesson plan. Many were certainly more engaged than others, probably because it was most relevant to them. Even my “popular” girls were eventually drawn into the discussion and once they made it “cool” to honestly discuss it, many other students chimed in. Most of my assessment was informal and would have to take place over at least a quarter, but I feel that the design for assessment that I had would have worked well had I been able to implement it. I have thought so much about this project and I really cannot wait to implement it to its fullest at the start of next school year. As stated in my project proposal, I think that schools and classrooms with negative culture simply need to resort to empathy and awareness. When they realize that their words and actions can cause true psychological damage, students will watch what they say much more closely. When they are encouraged to say nice things, they will do so twice as often. When they are inspired to be kind, it can last a lifetime, and that’s what I hope to demonstrate to my students.



Tijana Nelson

EDU 533


 “this I believe”


G.6-8.3.10 2003

Identify their current strengths and weaknesses in the areas of self-management, (e.g., punctuality, attendance, responsibility, dependability, integrity, effort, focus, and persistence).

EL.7.4.1 2006

Organization and Focus:

Discuss ideas for writing, keep a list or notebook of ideas, and use graphic organizers to plan writing.

EL.7.4.10 2006

Revise writing to improve organization and word choice after checking the logic of the ideas and the precision of the vocabulary


€        Written personal belief statement (Self & Teacher Assessed)

€        Radio Broadcast

€        Teacher Observations





This I Believe reminded me why writing can be so challenging. I couldn’t help but think of my students and the frustration they encounter daily with each writing prompt, constructed response, etc. Not only do have to align your writing with all the technical formalities but it is hard to pen your truth. It requires honesty, vulnerability, and courage. As Edward Murrow said best, “people don’t speak their beliefs easily or publicly.” Often I remind my students that they are either thinking or writing and that the expectation is to share what they believe, not what they think I want to hear/read. This I Believe has provided us with the opportunity to vent, heal, and grow. Our writing is becoming more powerful, relevant, and meaningful. Students are working more diligently to edit and revise their writing to make sure that their belief is perfectly stated. When initiating this project many students struggled to discover and disclose their true self. This assignment has also helped many of my SPED students to think critically in a nonthreatening environment. By allowing them to score themselves according to the rubric we created and providing them with alternate avenues to share their beliefs, the students remained engaged. They’re excited about having our rendition of the radio broadcast. Ultimately, students have mastered this concept if they own what they believe in how they live. Many of my students take risks because they believe in me. I await the day they take risks because they believe in themselves.








Nicole Davis Jones

April 26, 2012

Final Project Reflection

EDU 533

For my final project, I decided to have three different parts. Part one includes students writing a letter to a Henryville high school student that has been affected by the tornadoes. We have been preparing for the English 10 End-of-Course Assessment and I have focused a great deal of the second semester on their writing skills. Therefore, writing a letter to a Henryville high school student felt like a natural tie in to the English 10 standards and my English Lab curriculum. My students completed this letter three weeks ago.


Students will complete part two and three after they take the English 10 End-of-Course Assessment. My students will begin taking this assessment during the week of April 30th. For part two students will watch Kony2012. They will then advocate for the Kony2012 movement or the organization of their choice through advocacy. This can include twitter, poster projects, letters to the editor, writing a letter to a legislator, writing Facebook posts, etc.  I will provide a lesson on what advocacy is, how you can advocate as a high school student, and how much they need to advocate for this project.  Since all students will be completing different projects, they will create rubrics for themselves. I will approve the rubrics before they start the project. For part three of the project, students will write a detailed reflection/analysis on how their advocacy and grassroots actions have helped to bring a culture of positivity to the world. They will also reflect on how well they completed the project, and why I had them complete the project in the first place.


For part one, students were very willing to write the letters to the students in Henryville. In fact, after some of the students finished writing the letters, they decided that they wanted to draw a picture for the Henryville students too. All of the students understood why they were writing these letters, both for academic and socio-emotional reasons.


Originally, I wanted to complete the entire project before the April 26th class. Unfortunately, due to ECA preparation, I was unable to fit this into the schedule. This was probably the most difficult part of the project. Another difficulty was helping some of my ED students create letters, and their ability to write empathetically. I had to prompt a few of my students on things that they could write about.


I was most surprised by the creativity of the students. I found out that one student went down to Henryville to help out the community. He also went to Missouri when they had massive tornadoes to help. Another one of my ED students found lots of creative things to say, things I wouldn’t think of. For example, he wrote how he watched their color guard performance at Center Grove High School recently. Finally, I was surprised that students wanted to do more than just write a picture. Usually getting students to do anything takes effort, so the fact that they wanted to do more, was impressive.


I would have done one adjustment to this project. I did not write an example letter to a Henryville student for my students to review. This would have helped some of the students to get started, and to get an idea of what they needed to write. For part two and three of the assignment, I will be sure to have an example for every project that they may decide to do. This way, students know what I am looking for and are more confident in starting their project on their own.


Overall, I have been pleased with part one of the project. I am very excited to implement part two and three of the project. I think it will be a great way to wrap-up the semester. 



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