8 Strategies to Quickly Assess Prior Knowledge by Barbara Blackburn

3 01 2018

Here are a number of great ideas for all teaching areas.


3 Tools to Help Manage Learning by Monica Burns

11 10 2017

These ideas are relevant to any teacher, irrespective of their teaching experience. Thank you Monica. 

Using Quick Check-Ins to Measure Student Understanding by Mike Anderson

1 04 2017

Here are some great ideas for choice in assessing where students are at. 

NCTM Preconference Workshop – Using Formative Assessment for Student Learning by Robert Berry and Debbie Duvall

16 04 2015

Today I attended the NCTM Preconference workshop on Using Formative Assessment for Student Learning. Although I was familiar with many of the techniques and theory I appreciated being reminded of what I should employ more regularly and picking up some new tips too.

Tips I noted were

  • Movement facilitates learning so let students move position from one activity to the next
  • Polystyrofoam trays make inexpensive whiteboards when used with a wet board marker as do CD cases with a piece of paper inside
  • Cloth makeup wipes (dry) bought from $2 shops are inexpensive whiteboard erasers 
  • If you do not have whiteboards all around your room then pieces of paper attached to the wall are next best. You can buy adhesive or static whiteboard paper too.
  • If you have different coloured pens for each member of the group you can track individual responses and understanding.
  • If there is only one pen per group then have the first pass it to another person after a time to ensure at everyone gets a turn.
  • To share student speaking time give each student a quota of chips which they use one of each time they answer or ask a question. Once they have used their chips it is the turn of the other students.
  • It’s is fine for a student not to know the answer to a question but it is not fine to opt out of answering. When a student cannot answer a question they need to listen to the next 2 or 3 responses and then say which they prefer and why.
  • Instead of using clickers you can give each student a set of A,B,C,D cards of which they hold up the letter to the correct response to share their opinion. True can equate to A and false to B to give True/False options.
  • To give timely feedback to such an activity you can ask the students to find someone with a different response and discuss their responses etc.
  • Facts shared (discussed) are better recalled.

There were numerous other methods outlined which I need to outline at a later date.

Overall a very worthwhile day.