Students demonstrate their learning through performance-based assessments and express their conclusions through elaborated explanations of their thinking. (AdvancED STEM Indicator ST1.5)
At the elementary level, young students do not always have the opportunity to celebrate their true achievements, as standardized tests and score reports are a reality we all face. While Fairforest Elementary School students perform fairly well on tests such as STAR, SC PASS, and ACT Aspire, our STEM educators know that these are not the only measures of our children's success.
As our school has focused its efforts on student-driven learning and inquiry-based experiences, our teachers have provided multiple ways for their students to demonstrate their learning and receive the credit that they deserve for their efforts. As STEM educators at Fairforest Elementary School, we know that a single quiz or standardized test score is not representative of what a student has learned over the course of a unit of study--or an entire school year. Our students are able to share their learning in formats that go far beyond pencil and paper, and our teachers assess them in ways that validate their effort, inquiry, and performance or finished product, rather than a single "right" or "wrong" answer.
The following are examples of project-based learning experiences that enable students to express their conclusions and explain their thinking, as well as the performance-based assessments that our STEM educators have utilized: