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Posts tagged ‘formative assessment’

Going beyond the Exit Card: 10 easy to use reflection strategies

We get it. Having some sort of closure activity as part of the learning process is important. Teachers use this sort of immediate information to measure student understanding, monitor student questions, and collect feedback on instruction. For students, closure activities serve as a content review at the end of a daily lesson and enhance their meta-cognitive skills.

But we’ve all been there. You and your kids get so hooked into an activity or lesson that you lose track of time. You look up and there’s a minute left of class. Students are throwing their stuff in backpacks, the bell rings, and off they go without a chance to think about their thinking. Or worse, we fail to intentionally plan for any sort of reflection or meta-cognition to happen.

And while we understand at the intellectual level that we need to have some sort of closure after and during learning, it can be too easy to blow it off if we’re busy or if you’ve done the Exit Card thing just too many times.

So what are some alternatives to the Exit Card? Give these a try. Feel free to adapt as needed. Read more

Tip of the Week: Video games equal effective formative assessment

Last month at the AESA conference, Curtis Chandler and I had the opportunity to do a presentation on gamification in education. I always have fun working with Curtis and when we get the chance to talk about games, even better.

One of the things we talked about was how game design and instructional design are very similar. How game developers use brain research to create engaging, profitable games. And how we as educators should be using similar research to plan lesson and unit design but often don’t.

As early educational game researcher James Paul Gee says

Better theories of learning are embedded in the video games many children play than in the schools they attend.

One of the conversations that we especially enjoyed was asking teachers to describe what an effective learning environment looks like. The list ended up looking like this:

  • students make choices
  • students become experts
  • solving problems is required
  • immediate feedback is key
  • there’s always an answer
  • working with others – in and out of the classroom – is allowed
  • failure can be a good thing

We then asked teachers to think about characteristics of engaging games. It ended up looking like this: Read more

History Geek Week Day Three: Beyond the Bubble and the new world of social studies assessment

Okay. I know that it’s 7:45 am on a Saturday morning but perhaps the best session of the day is ready to go and there’s maybe 20 people here.

Joel Breakstone and Mark Smith from the Stanford History Education Group are here to talk about their awesome new assessment tool called Beyond the Bubble. (SHEG is the group started and led by the history superhero, Sam Wineburg.) I know that it’s new and maybe people haven’t heard enough about it yet. But seriously. This is what assessment should look like in the world of the Common Core, C3 national standards, and the new Kansas state standards.

I was wrong. 8:00 am and it’s standing room only. Which is a good thing. Because Beyond the Bubble is perhaps the best place I’ve found for really measuring historical thinking.

Read more