We all know that it’s important to assess students. Assessment shouldn’t just come at the end of the unit or topic thought. Ongoing assessment, or formative assessment, should take place throughout the unit. Each day I like to do a quick and simple assessment on my specific objective of that day. I use the results to help me plan for the next day. If half the class didn’t understand today’s lesson then maybe it’s a topic or skill you need to repeat again tomorrow. Maybe you need to only reteach or help a few students in a small group who still are not grasping the concept. Quick assessments can be done in a variety of ways such as exit tickets, checklists or a homework assignment. However, the four quick assessments below take very little preparation on your part as a teacher and very little materials.
1. Ask students to stand up by table or group.
I use this approach when I want to hear how my students are reading and pronouncing a set of words. If I have them all say the words together I can’t really assess very well. So, instead, I ask one table at a time to stand up. I show them a list of words and the students at that table (4 students are at each of my tables) read the words together. I can pretty easily distinguish between the set of 4 voices and I can assess who is saying the words correctly and who needs some extra help.
2. Thumbs up, thumbs down.
You can use this simple method to ask the whole class a question and visually see each individuals answer. For example, I might have one student come and write an answer on the board (or orally give an answer) then I ask the whole class to give a thumbs up if they agree or a thumbs down if they do not.
This method can be used in other ways too. Give students a multiple choice question and ask them to hold up 1, 2, or 3 fingers depending on which answer they are picking.
I give each table, or set of students, a whiteboard. I ask them a question and have them write their answer on the board. Then I count to 3 and everyone holds up their boards so that I can see. I have them wait until I count to 3 because otherwise students tend to look around at the answers other kids are holding up and just copy them.
4. Quick write
This works by having students write 2 or 3 things down in their notebooks. I flash the answers up on the board and have them self grade. I always have mine grade in a colorful pen so I can see the correct answers from far away. Next, I move around the room very quickly and am able to glance at how many they got correct. Another suggestion is have students raise their hand if they got all the answers correct (however, I’ve found that some students aren’t always truthful with this method)
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