1. So I found a project that perfectly relates into my life. In my "Instuctional Techniques in Early Childhood" class, we just finished a project where we have to create a week-long unit plan. I actually found a math-based project that works perfectly with my unit theme of health and nutrition. The project can be found here: http://educate.intel.com/en/ProjectDesign/UnitPlanIndex/HealthyEating/
Basically, the project is about having the children fill out a survey on how healthy their lunch was. They have the opportunity to evaluate their food choices and see where their meals relate to the Food Pyramid. Then, the children survey classmates and graph the results. Questions can range from: "How many vegetables did you eat today?" to "How many snacks did you have?" which allows creativity and math-based expression.
2. My formative assessment would first be the student's comprehension of their own eating. I would have the students fill out a rating scale on how healthy their choices were, and see who seems to be way off. I would also analyze the survey questions they selected, looking to see how advanced the questions are, if the student only uses "yes" or "no" questions, how much the questions relate to nutrition, etc. In the end, the graphs would also be an assessment. I would see who properly labeled the graph, whose data matches their graphic visual, who chose multiple means to present, etc.
My summative assessment would be analyzing if the children could think creatively about nutrition. I would see if they became more critical of their eating choices over time, and consider who recognized the personal stake in the material. To close, I could give a test with a list of foods, asking the students to recognize which were healthy, and explain why. This would ensure that children realized the qualities of healthy and unhealthy eating.
3. To make the assessments fun and not intimidating, I would try to base most of it off their own experiences. The survey would be based off a subtopic in nutrition that they want to learn about. Children should control their own learning and how they can demonstrate knowledge. For the graph, I would give a large amount of instruction on how to arrange the material, and how to use line graphs, bar graphs, etc. I would let them know that they could come to me for questions regarding the graph, or even ask a classmate. For the test, I would ask why they believe a food is healthy, making some answers up for debate. I would also try to let the students know that there is little pressure on test results, and more just on the effort they gave through the project.
4. The website I got the project idea from actually has a section on differentiation. For students with special needs, I could have them work on the survey in pairs. Or I could even provide a template for the survey, or a specific structure for the graph. For gifted students, I could ask them to create a pie chart based on the percentages of people surveyed. For ESL, I could encourage the student to make their survey based more on visuals than text. Again, I could also pair them with another student, ideally someone skilled with English. Overall, I think I could make it so this project encourages the individual abilities of all kids.