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Needs Assessment

Creating and Implementing an Absorb-Type Activity Catherine E. Rosario EDU 697: Capstone: A Project Approach Professor Keith Pressey December 24, 2013

Needs Assessment Needs Assessment It is true that a needs assessment is a systematic exploration of the way things are and the way they should be. These things are usually associated with organizational and/or individual performance (1) (Kusy, Jr., M. & Rouda, R., 1995). In the learning experience that I am exploring, classification in a kindergarten setting, the needs assessment will be based around an individual performance as well as evaluate the group as a whole. According to Watkins, Meiers, & Visser, (2012), Needs assessments offer value by providing logical and disciplined methods for collecting useful information and making decisions based on that information. Needs assessments are often done before any action has

been taken [as with an assessment to define the needs of a community before a development loan is requested], although at other times a needs assessment is done to provide strategic direction to activities that are already planned (p. 1). However, once the needs assessment is created it will also set a basis for the lesson and learning activities, whether they are an absorb activity, a do activity, or connect activity (Horton, 2012) and keep instruction running in order alongside the learning objectives and goals. The Structure of the Needs Assessment

What do you know?


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Students should already know basic colors, shapes, sizes (such as the difference between big and small), how to sort objects into piles.

What do you want to know?


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How to classify, sort, and group objects that are alike by color, shape, and size. Students can also brainstorm other ways to classify those same objects.

What are you trying to measure, determine, or define?

Needs Assessment
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Students will learn the terms and definitions of classification, classify, sort, group, and alike

Students will determine how objects are the same and how they can be grouped together.

How will you collect and record information.


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Observation (hands-on activities-individually and group), worksheets, and discussions.

Grading rubric and corrections on worksheets.

How will you report the information you collect?


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Grading rubric and corrections on worksheets. Discussions with students.

Are all interested groups included in planning and conducting the needs assessment?
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Assuming this kindergarten classroom is a blended classroom, the teacher, special education teacher, assistant teacher, and any one-on-one teacher aides will be included in the preparation of planning and conducting of the needs assessment. MATLT Activity Redesign

Originally this particular assignment required the design of a absorb-type activity for a classroom and subject of our own choice. I chose to complete this assignment, classification, for a kindergarten classroom utilizing the smart board. In summary, the completed assignment included a power point presentation, to be displayed on the smart board, reviewing learning objectives, definitions, colors, shapes (both flat and solid), and big or small, with absorbactivities to go with each. Although one of the color sorting activities involves students each

Needs Assessment taking a turn on the smart board, I wanted to redesign this assignment to incorporate some other aspects of technology for students to utilize. Incorporating technology into any classroom increases motivation, reinforces skills, differentiates instruction, and encourages collaboration. While technology does not take the place of vital, developmental play and hands-on learning, it certainly adds to them, reinforcing traditional methods of teaching. It encourages young children, allows for creativity and connect to the curriculum, which benefits both the teacher and the students. It is also true that teachers have replaced math workbooks with electronic tablet programs that give children immediate feedback and free the teacher to reach those children who need one-on-one help (LoBello, 2013). Challenges Implementing these changes were not difficult, however, I already implemented some technology into the assignment the first time so originally I did not feel it needed anymore. The importance of technology is using it as an instructional tool, knowing how and remembering to use it correctly and efficiently. Lever-Duffy & McDonald describe that technology is a means

to an instructional end, not an end in itself (2011) which means teaching with the end (learning objective) in mind, and use technology as an effective tool, along with a sound lesson design and instruction, to achieve that end. I think it is important that teachers do not replace solid instruction and student/teacher or student/student interaction with technology, but incorporate it into the lesson and interaction as a tool like stated above. Technology will aid both the teacher in the classroom with instruction as well as the student in the classroom with learning, with that said I believe technology is here to stay while it is such an important key in society today. So, with that said I wanted to be sparing with how

Needs Assessment much technology would be used in one lesson, but make it useful and effective for the students as well.

References Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by design (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley. Kusy, Jr., M. & Rouda, R. (1995). Needs assessment: the first step. Retrieved on December 23, 2013 from http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~rouda/T2_NA.html LoBello, K. (2013). How can technology be beneficial in a kindergarten classroom? Retrieved on December 9, 2013 from http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/can-technology-beneficialkindergarten-class-6647.html Lever-Duffy, J. & McDonald, J.B. (2011). Teaching and learning with technology (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc./Allyn & Bacon Watkins, R., Meiers, M., & Visser, Y. (2012). A guide to assessing needs: essential tools for collecting information, making decisions, and achieving development results.

Needs Assessment International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/ International Development Association or The World Bank: Washington DC