1. Match-Up Puzzles: I've been enjoying matching activities lately. If you use a little strategy, you can make a great mix of cards that cover all the different types of questioning that would be on a quiz!
For example, this one on Slope-Intercept Form has a mix of graphs, equations, m & b values, and word phrases. Each card has only one match, so in order to find all the pairs, students have to understand all the vocabulary as well as how to go from equation to graph and vice versa.
A student who can complete it would also know all of this content on a formal assessment. Added bonus: It takes a little bit of strategy and is a little more fun.
2. Mastery Ladders: This set of printable ladders is a great way for students to track how they are progressing through a content standard. They work in any subject area. I love the way they can self-assess.
Click the image to watch the video over on the "Tools for Teaching Teens" site. Then, grab your free download to try mastery ladders in your own classroom.
3. Sorting Activity: I just started teaching Sunday School, and it's helping me to re-think assessment. The kids don't need to be taking extra quizzes on the weekend, so I've adapted some of the quizzes into more of a hands-on sorting activity.
If the students can sort the pieces into the correct categories, plus identify which definitions and symbols go with each key term, then they've got all the main ideas of this lesson.
These images show the set I made for the Catholic Sacraments, but this could apply to any subject. The kids love that this goes beyond a basic match-up and is color coded.
4. Four Corners: This formative assessment strategy is a way to get kids up and moving and it's also a great way to quickly check what they know.
Click the image to watch a quick video about making the Four Corners part of your routine. It's another great way to get students self-assessing and thinking about what level they are on.
5. Repetitive Partnering Cards: I use this idea for the MOST important information in a particular course. Take the set of key vocabulary words, essential questions, and main ideas for your class.
Convert them into a set of partnering cards (words & definitions or questions & answers). Use the cards ALL THE TIME. Every day that you do a partner activity, hand out the cards and have students find the answer to their question or the question to their answer.
Students will have opportunities to see these main ideas or words over and over again. They will usually have a different card than last time, but will see and think about the full set over time as they look around for their match.
6. Writing Prompts / Exit Tickets: Before students walk out the door, have them write a couple sentences to demonstrate their understanding.
You can find templates for different ticket setups, but I like to just post a single question. Sometimes, I have students answer right in their math journals, but I will collect them on separate paper if I plan to review the answers and see who has the idea and who is still way off base.
7. Response Cards: Have your students hold up or display cards to show you whether they are with you.
You can print the cards on different colored paper and hole punch each set. Put a binder ring through each set. Have your students keep the set on their desks during lessons.
Include cards that they can hold up for basic responses like "true, false, yes, no, A, B, C, and 1, 2, 3." You can ask questions with options and see who is right. This can be quicker than individual whiteboards.
Also, include cards that allow the kids to show you when they need you to speed up or slow down. You can look around the room and spot the different colors to see if the majority of the students are with you.
Download a set of printable response cards over on my student engagement post.
Tools & Resources
1. formativedifferentiated.com - This site has printable templates you can use as exit / entrance tickets or formative assessments. Download and print for your class for free.
2. goformative.com - As a teacher, you can create your own assessment or use an existing one. Students can write or even DRAW their responses. You can see the results for instant assessment.
3. socrative.com - See where your students' understanding levels are. Like goformative, this site is ideal for 1 to 1 classrooms where each student has an internet device.
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