Friday, December 18, 2015

Teach or Test?

This is a very busy time. For some schools it is the end of the semester and students are taking finals. While testing to see what students know is a good thing, it is also very stressful for all--students, teachers, and parents.

For students who are not "good" test takers, it can be daunting. The students may know the material, but not test well. So relying solely on a summative assessment is not a reliable measuring stick for what a student knows and is able to do. Formative assessment happens during teaching--while students are learning. And it doesn't take huge chunks of time out of the teaching day to perform.

Check out what one teacher, Vicki Davis, The CoolCatTeacher,  reports about her experience with formative assessment here: 5 Fantastic, Fast, Formative Assessment Tools.

She also lists several useful formative assessment tools that you can use with students. You may like some better than others, but each may have a specific purpose that may work for you. Become familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each in order to pick the best one(s) to use.

Have you used any of these?
  • Socrative
  • Kahoot
  • Zaption
  • Backchannel Chat Tools: Chatzy, Today's Meet, Ning, Google Docs
  •  Plickers
  • QuickKey
  • Grade Cam
The more tools you have, the better you can create assessments that really help students show what they know and actually learn.

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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