Exit Tickets ~ Formative Assessments +++

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flickr photo by alykat http://flickr.com/photos/alykat/5848722 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

One of my favorite classroom assessment and teacher feedback strategies is the exit slip or exit ticket.  This quick activity can be done in a couple of minutes and provides teachers with essential information about what students have learned, what they may misunderstand, and/or how they are feeling about a particular lesson.

The Teaching Channel has a great segment on exit tickets, including a couple of clips.

The Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning at Brown University has an excellent page on exit tickets, including examples.

Edutopia includes a post with ways to use exit tickets to plan for future lessons.

“An exit slip can also be be a great way to set up the next day’s learning. With that in mind, here’s a few uses to consider:

Discover Shared Interests

Before introducing a group project that includes student choice, students can respond to a strategic question via an exit slip, sharing their primary topics of interest and their reasons.

Activate Prior Knowledge

Instead of taking time during class to create a concept/topic map, you can provide students with the concept or topic word at the end of class, activating their prior knowledge, and have them write words and phrases related to it on their half sheet of paper. When they come into the classroom the next day, they will see all their ideas displayed around the main word or phrase. This brainstorm also serves as a diagnostic check for the teacher.”  Read the rest of the piece here.


Checking for Understanding ~ Dozens of ideas and strategies

flickr photo by Thomas Hawk http://flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/176785431 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

What are the best ways to check for understanding? Below are two articles with strategies to keep your assessment checks fresh and engaging.

From informED:

“The ultimate goal of teaching is to do just that – teach, not stand up in the front of the room and talk. But sometimes it’s easier to talk than to teach, as we all know, especially when we need to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time. We hope students will understand, if not now then before test time, and we keep our fingers crossed that their results will indicate we’ve done our job.

The problem is, we rely on these tests to measure understanding, and then we move on. Few of us take the time to address weaknesses and misunderstandings after the tests have been graded, and by that time it’s too late for students to be interested. This means we need to rethink how we approach assessment during class.

The most effective way to test student understanding is to do it while the lesson’s still going on. Asking students to fill out a questionnaire and then correcting misunderstandings during the next class period won’t work because students have already moved on. You’ve got to take advantage of the moment. If you hope to spend the majority of your time getting through to students, and not just talking, then understanding must be measured and dealt with as soon as the first frown appears on a face.”  Read the entire piece here.

Over at Edutopia, Todd Finley has compiled a list of 53 ways to check for understanding. Check out the PDF here.

“What strategy can double student learning gains? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment, defined by Bill Younglove as “the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately.”

Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning according to a benchmark, formative assessment monitors student understanding so that kids are always aware of their academic strengths and learning gaps. Meanwhile, teachers can improve the effectiveness of their instruction, re-teaching if necessary. “When the cook tastes the soup,” writes Robert E. Stake, “that’s formative; when the guests taste the soup, that’s summative.” Formative assessment can be administered as an exam. But if the assessment is not a traditional quiz, it falls within the category of alternative assessment.”

Read the entire piece here.

Great Tools to Try Out for Formative Assessment

creative commons licensed (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo by @Doug88888: http://flickr.com/photos/doug88888/4717363945

Vicki Davis recently wrote a great post on Edutopia about 5 tools for formative assessment.

“Good teachers in every subject will adjust their teaching based upon what students know at each point. Good formative assessment removes the embarrassment of public hand raising and gives teachers feedback that impacts how they’re teaching at that moment. Instant feedback. We can do this now. Here’s how.”  Read about the five tools here.

Flipped Classroom ToolKit

Flipping your classroom can have some interesting and positive consequences. The above clip is part of an Edutopia series called the Flipped Learning Toolkit.

Don’t try to flip an entire unit — start by trying to flip a lesson to see how it feels for you and your students.

Other resources in the toolkit include:

3 Ways to Take Your Students Deeper

Overcoming Common Hurdles

5 Steps for Formative Assessment