Friday, August 10, 2012

Favorite Formative Assessment Techniques

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Today's post is about five assessment techniques I have used or plan on using this coming school year:

1)  Check out the blog post I did here on In Class √ups.

2)  Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down:  This technique is a very simple way to get immediate feedback from the whole class.  I use this often when I feel as though some kids just have not gotten the concept I just taught.  I can scan the classroom in less than a minute and find out who is still struggling.  If it is only one or two students I will meet with them individually.  If it is a small group I may call them up the SMARTBoard while others continue working and go through more sample problems with them.  Sometimes I do another example or try to offer a different visual or explain it a bit differently for the whole class.  I also might call on a student to explain the concept in their words.  I love this technique because it lets every student know that s/he is important and valued.

3)  Parking Lot:  I have not yet used this technique, but plan on implementing it this coming school year.  I have used it myself as a participant in several professional development trainings.  I personally like it because I feel that all my concerns and questions will be addressed.  The way it was used in these trainings was if you had any question that you wanted clarified or a comment you wanted to share you could post it on the parking lot which was just a large piece of chart paper.  Some students prefer to not interrupt the flow of a lesson and feel more comfortable placing a post-it note on a poster at the end of the day.  I also like the idea of having every student leaving a post-it exit slip on the parking lot.

4)  Exit slips:  I think exit slips are extremely powerful formative assessment that can help quite a teacher in my planning lessons.  At the end of class if you have students work out a few problems and that is their ticket out the door, you will have the information of who has grasped the learning targets and who needs more practice or explanation.  This a great technique for differentiation.  Use the results of the exit slip to group students by mastery level of that topic.  I have used exit slips a bit, but plan on using them much more frequently this coming year.

5)  Show Me Wallet  I found this post from the blog 5th grade rocks 5th grade rules via Pinterest and I love how she has taken the concept of a dry erase board for assessment and taken it to a whole new level.  I would like to adapt this for use in my classroom this fall.

For more assessment links check out my Assessment Pinboard at Pinterest.


  1. Great strategies! Have you read the book "Mathematics Formative Assessments"? It's on my to-be-read list :)

  2. Hey! Thanks for the shout out! :) I'm your newest follower!


  3. I definitely use all of those techniques. The parking lot I mostly see used in staff development, but it's still very cool to me. If your school has access to them, I love assessing using Turning Points - it's a program that uses clickers for instant assessing. Great product. I use it about once a week.

  4. Love these ideas, and your pinterest board is great. Can't wait to explore a bit more! Thanks for sharing.


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