Formative Assessment Strategies Summarized

Formative Assessment Strategies
Use of Strategy
Chalk Talk
A chalk talk is a silent way to do reflection, generate ideas, check on learning, or
solve problems. The teacher writes a relevant question on the board. Sample
questions: What did you learn today? What do you know about the Holocaust?
How are decimals used in the world?
Each student is given a marker and asked to write down his/her thinking about the
question. They may comment on others’ ideas too.
A double-entry journal is an “access tool” that students can use to hold their
thinking. Ask students to divide a piece of notebook paper in half. The fold should
be lengthwise, or “like a hot dog bun.” The students do two kinds of thinking by
recording ideas side by side in two columns on their paper. Double-entry journals
are very flexible. Within a unit, they can be used to deepen text understanding,
show thinking behind problem solving, or compare ideas, information, characters,
and so on.
Personal Anchor
Think about the guiding questions for a unit of study. These are big questions that
you want your students to be able to refer back to and ponder throughout the unit.
On an 11x17 piece of paper, type the guiding question. The students will return to
these questions again and again, continuing to write their thinking on their
personal anchor chart at different phases of the unit’s study. It’s amazing to
monitor the growth in thinking about a topic’s questions over time.
Annotating Text
Students “mark up the text” by recording their thinking in the margins of the hand
out, so that it can be remembered and reused. They do this by recording a
reaction, asking a question, giving an opinion, making a connection, or responding
to how they would relate if they were in that situation.
Glossary/Vocabulary Students code their glossary/vocabulary hand-out indicating which words they
have an understanding of and which words they need more background
Mark Up
knowledge on. The students then get into small groups and discuss the words.
Each word has to be discussed and students have to add a question or comment
next to each the word.
Exit Slips
Exit slips are written student responses to questions about the day’s study posed
at the end of class. This only takes a few minutes. You collect the slips as the
students walk out. Now what? The goal is to use the exit slips to guide your next
day’s instruction. Exit slips are highly diagnostic-- they can tell you a lot about
what students understand and what their misconceptions might be. Ideas for exit
slip topics: What did you learn today? What were the three most important ideas
we learned today-- and why? What would you like me to review in class tomorrow
and why? A specific math problem.
Think- Pair- Share
Students think individually, then pair (discuss with partner), then share with the
class. Show students how to ask each other questions about their thinking to
further true understanding instead of judging the thinking. Examples: I disagree
because…I’d like to add that…Say more about what you mean…I also
noticed…I’m curious about…So are you saying…I’m not sure I understand what
you mean…What evidence of that have you found…I’d like to hear more about…
Text Rendering
The students are asked to mark one sentence, one phrase, and one word from
their reading that they think is particularly important. They then record their
thinking about why they chose those pieces.
Hammon, Leach, and Wright (West Middle School)