Let’s Get Ready to Rumble (or, 10 ways to Formatively Assess Your Students)

Photo on 2-17-15 at 2.07 PM

Friends,

My apologies for waiting until Friday to send out my weekly shares. I started two Coursera courses and have been engrossed in business classes that I am finding have applications toward teaching and learning which I will share.

“If you want your message to be memorable, think SUCCESs: Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Unexpected Stories” ~@j1berger

In any event, this week is all about formative assessment – that checking in you can do throughout a lesson or unit that can inform how you proceed. I saw this wonderful Livebinder of formative assessment using technology and have opened and checked out a good number of them. There are 32 and while you may have enjoyed at one time or another all 31 wonderful flavors at Baskin & Robbins, you will probably not have the time nor the inclination to check out all of these. But keep the binder in your tool belt library for when  you are sitting around  in your house due to bad weather.

Here are the some of the ones I checked out that I think are particularly great. 

#1 FlipQuiz Just like Jeopardy but without the music or Alec Trebek, FlipQuiz has a board set up in columns with topics across the top and points in columns ranging from 100 to 500. This is a free site to sign up but with a small fee you can get some premium features like automatic scoring. I think the fair value version is good enough. There are pre-made game boards that others have created like The Road to the Revolution or Fractions, Decimals and Percents, or you can create your own.

#2 Quizizz This is a fun one complete with exciting sound effects, music, and fun pictures. Also free, Quizizz has a library of quizzes that other teachers have made on a variety of subjects including music. You can choose to use one of teacher resources or you can create your own or you can do a hybrid which is create your own but include questions from other quizizzs. Students can join a quizizz live OR you can make it homework and students can do it on their own time. What I like about it is the lovely line plot the teacher gets at the end showing which questions students got correct/incorrect which can inform you which type of problem you need to remediate in your class. 

#s 3 & 4 Zaption and Educanon I have spoken numerous times about both Zaption and Educanon (and Edpuzzle for that matter) and so will make this brief. These tools allow your videos to be interactive. Both tools allow you to add your own video OR search within the tool for YouTube, TeacherTube Vimeo, PBS, and many others. Zaption has a presenter feature which allows you to watch a video as a class and it will pause for the questions while your students answer. You can also enable audience questioning during the video and questions on the fly from you. A tip: if using presenter, make the Qs True/False, quick short answer- QUICK- or Multiple Choice. The longer it takes for students to type in their longer short answers, the more you lose the flow of the video. Educanon has 7 different question types. Both are embeddable and share to Google Classroom.

#5 GoFormative This one is by far the most versatile but takes time on your part. This is the one I think my friend C Dub is going to like due to all the Star Wars references in the tutorial videos and tutorial document. You can add all types of questions, you can upload content including images, videos, PDFs, and documents, you can add questions on top of these items, you can have your students show their work by drawing their responses, upload images for their responses, or type their answers AND you can view it all live as it is happening while offering feedback at the same time. Phew, that is a lot you can do. But there is more— you can create classes and assign to specific classes OR you can open the assessment to everyone and they join with a join code. This is entirely FREE and worth every minute it takes to create an assessment. 

#6 Class Flow Class Flow is another extremely versatile assessment and differentiation tool. Here is how it works. You create an account via Google single sign on, Facebook, or email/password, you can upload content like video, images, documents from your Google Drive, Smart Notebook, Office 360, or dropbox, the web- pretty much anywhere;  you can use lessons from the Class Flow community or create your own, give your class a code and get started. One of the really great things is the ability to make smaller groups and send questions directly to these smaller groups thereby allowing for differentiation. All responses come back to you in real time so you can see how everyone is doing. You can view your classes understanding by lesson, grade class, student in color-coded blocks so you can get a quick visual on how everyone did. This works on all devices.

#7 Bingo Baker Who does not enjoy a lively game of BINGO after a few rounds of Heads Up 7-Up? This is an old-fashioned game that you can create online, add images, it will scramble the board for you and generate the call card. You can then print them out or play online. 

#8 That Quiz This one is tried and true for Math, Science, Geography check-ins. Nothing fancy here but your students can set the timer, the level of difficulty, the number of questions, and see their progress. This is for all grade levels and is a no-brainer when you want to offer some practice for your students.

#9 Answer Garden creates a lovely garden of words that grow in size depending on how frequently they are used in responses submitted by your students (like a word cloud). You can create an answer garden on the fly, send the code to your students and have them respond. I have used this for one-word responses, you can use them for short answer or numerical responses. You will not see who answered what. This is more for brainstorming and quick feedback.

#10 Kahoot Similar to Quizizz, Kahoot offers the ability to gamify your classroom and get feedback in real time. Best played in class, Kahoot offers the option to use or modify community Kahoots (and there are THOUSANDS on EVERY SUBJECT from Art to Technology and everything in between) or create your own from scratch. There are featured Kahoots, Favorite Kahooters or you can search by subject, school level, or type of Kahoot (discussion, survey, quiz). Teachers can view the analytics and get real time feedback on what their students know/think/feel. And Kahoots don’t only have to be for what they have already learned, but could also be a way to introduce a topic as well. Kahoot is fun, exciting, and your kids will love it!

And now for something completely different and unexpected. 

My blood pressure is 90/40.

Ok, so I thought adding that unexpected tidbit might make this particular Weekly Wow more memorable. Did it? Because adding something unexpected makes your message more memorable. This is something I am learning in Contagious: How Things Catch On with Jonah Berger from Coursera. Not only does he have great curly hair, his lessons are Simple, informative, interesting- not to mention Credible, Concrete, and include Stories.

But really folks, Global School Play Day is coming up on February 3rd and I thought you would want to know about it. What it is is a whole entire day dedicated to PLAY- unscripted, unplugged, unstructured PLAYTIME. Is this something you think you could do? Could you devote at least half a day to this to highlight the importance of play for your students?

I hope you enjoy the snoweekend.

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