Monday, October 27, 2014

Checking for Understanding-Using Daily Formative Assessment

I've written before about how I use guided math in my 6th grade classroom. A big part of guided math is the grouping of my students. For the most part, guided math is homogeneously grouped. These groups are fluid, though, and I use a daily formative assessment to help determine our small groups for the next day's guided math session.

At the end of class each day, I project a PowerPoint slide with a few questions (anywhere from 1 to 3... depends on the skill) pertaining to our lesson. I really spend time coming up with the questions because I need to make sure it's a good measurement of their understanding. Each student gets a Post-It and puts their work and answer(s) on the front and their name on the back. On their way out the door, they place their Post-It on my stoplight poster. They stick it on the red part if they really feel they need more work with this skill. It goes on yellow if they feel they need just a little more practice, and on green if they feel they've mastered this concept.

Kids who feel shaky with this skill, and students who got the answer(s) wrong will automatically work with our intervention teacher the next day during guided math. The students on yellow, and those who got part of the answer wrong, will work with me. And those in green will work independently (though my group can be interrupted with questions from those working independently, so help is available if necessary. My intervention teacher's group cannot, under any circumstances, be interrupted! I tell the kids they need to be bleeding, barfing, or on fire to interrupt her group!).

I save all the Post-Its from each marking period in a special folder I made from two file folders taped together. Then I made little envelopes from card stock with each students' name. Saving these Post-Its are great for conference time, and they are also helpful for CST or INRS (or MAT, or whatever form of alphabet soup your school uses!) meetings. The back of the folder also has a class list where I can record how students' did on each skill in our math unit. This makes it super easy to reference who needs more help.

So, that's how I use exit tickets to check for understanding! How do you check your students' understanding? Any great daily formative assessment tools you like to use? I'd love to hear about them! :)

Happy teaching!!

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