IntelAssessing Projects : Formative Assessment
Intermediate Phase Case Study


Learning about Frog Habitats
After the introductory activity, the learners take a field trip to a local pond where they study the habitat that frogs need to survive. Learners test the pH level of the water and take pictures to help them with setting up a frog habitat in their classroom.  

After the field trip, learners revisit the K-W-L chart and make any changes based on what they learned. Mr. Gcaba shows a video about frogs and asks learners to write about what they have learned in their journals.

Zack, who has moderate learning disabilities, writes:

I learned that frogs and toads are difrent and that frogs eat bugs and brids. Frogs come from eggs and tapoles.

Zoe, also with moderate learning disabilities, writes:

Frogs liev in water and jump arond. They crok and sing. forgs can fly

After reading the journals, Mr. Gcaba meets with Zack and Zoe individually to show them some resources that explain what frogs eat and how they move. He asks them questions until he is sure that they understand that only some frogs can fly and they do not eat birds. He also notes from the journals that several of his learners are interested in flying frogs, so he sets up a learning centre in the classroom with books, videos, and activities about this type of frog.  

In the next activity, groups of learners create murals depicting frog habitats. To prepare for this activity, Mr. Gcaba conducts a few mini-lessons on successful group behaviour. The small-group interaction gives all of his learners the opportunity to ask questions of their peers and to use the new vocabulary they are learning in a safe environment. This process is particularly helpful for his non-first language speakers.  

To help his learners learn to organize their time, Mr. Gcaba gives them a partially filled in project plan to guide their work. He instructs them to think about what deadlines they can meet with the various parts of the project and record the dates in their plans. Learners with disabilities fill out the plan as best they can and complete it with his guidance. All learners are encouraged to modify the plan so it makes sense for them.  

Mr. Gcaba uses a checklist to monitor learners’ collaboration skills as they work on their murals. He takes notes that he uses when he informally meets with learners during the project.





Shares many ideas and contributes relevant information

Only contributes ideas when asked 

Has lots of good ideas 

Shares some ideas, could speak with more confidence
Encourages other members to share their ideas Not observed Not observed Good about asking Molly what she thinks
Balances listening and speaking Mostly listening Speaks way more than listens Good
Is concerned about others’ feelings and ideas Not observed Sometimes Good

As groups plan their murals, Mr. Gcaba circulates among them, providing materials to correct misconceptions, so their final projects will correctly reflect frogs’ habitats.  

In the next stage of the project, learners create a frog habitat in the classroom. They observe the tadpoles and frogs, and record their observations in their learning logs. Mr. Gcaba carefully explains the kinds of information he would like them to record, and he models an initial observation. He is aware that Molly often has difficulty being specific in her logs. Therefore, he provides her with a more structured observation form that asks her to fill in the blanks to answer specific questions about the frog habitat. He also knows that Justin, who has mild learning disabilities, often writes so messily that even he cannot read it. Therefore, Mr. Gcaba sets up a computer learning log for Justin.

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