Friday, January 22, 2016

5 Fabulous Formative Assessments For Your Classroom

Teachers are constantly engaged in the process of formative assessment. Without the regular use of formative assessment, or checks for understanding, how are teachers to know what each student needs to be successful in the classroom? Teachers have many strategies and tools from which to choose. Learn about a few below.

Exit Tickets – Exit tickets can be a great way to set up the next day's learning.Before students leave class, they can be asked for an “exit ticket” that provides insight into what they learned from the day’s activities. For a digital exit ticket, try creating a Google Form that asks students about their thoughts on a lesson or have students create a short, three-panel comic strip outlining the day’s most valuable key idea.

Graphic Organizers – Graphic organizers can be used to assess prior knowledge, record learning during a lecture or class reading, or organize knowledge after learning. Some examples include Venn diagrams, word/idea webs or concept maps. Google Drawing, Gliffy,, and Mindmeister are always great options for creating digital graphic organizers. For word clouds, try Wordle, WordIt Out or Word Mosaic.

Quick Write – With quick writes, you can ask student to respond to an open-ended question or prompt. This can be done before, during, or after the lesson. Some useful tools for this include Chatzy, Today’s Meet, and Padlet.  A few others to check out are Active Prompt and Lino. Don’t forget to remind students to share something unique and not repeat a classmate’s answer.

Quizzes Quizzes assess students for factual information and concepts. There is usually a single best answer and are great for on-the-fly assessment. Socrative can be used for quick quizzes as well as Kahoot, which lets you build fun into your quizzes.  Students can use computers, cell phones, or other devices to join in and answer the questions.

Recall – Recalling information allows students to list the most important concepts they learned or things that were meaningful to them. Try having students make a list – in words or simple phrases – and rank them in order of importance, like a Top Ten List. Try using or Listmoz to create digital lists.

Remember that the true value of doing formative assessments lies in what happens afterwards when you take the data and change your teaching strategies and processes to reflect what you’ve learned and to better serve each student.

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