Formative assessments are not new to the teaching game, but they are a vital tool for teachers to check for understanding and student progress. They provide teachers with valuable information about students’ knowledge and skills, and allows them to adjust their instruction based on a student’s performance. Formative assessment is at the heart of responsive teaching, or “being in the moment” with your students, and serves as an early instructional intervention before you administer the summative assessment.
Formative assessments can be as informal as a one-on-one conversation with a student or as formal as a quiz. However, with more and more classrooms becoming 1:1, why not make your classroom more engaging and make your assessments digital?
Below are 3 fun and engaging ways to formatively assess students. Teachers absolutely love to use these when checking for understanding, and students, especially 2nd graders, will enjoy them as well! Each tool has their own affordances and constraints, so it is important to choose the tool that is right for you, the task, and the learners.
ESGI is a total game changer and has become one of my must-haves for the classroom. It has completely changed how we can utilize our time in the classroom when it comes to assessing students and collecting data for parent conferences and meetings. All student assessments are given one-on-one via table or computer. Simple yes or no answers give you instant results!
ESGI has over 1,000 pre-made student tests that allow you to test your entire class, one-on-one in under an hour. That includes grading, generating a parent letter, AND you’ll have instant access to tons of forms that can be used for RTI and parent meeting.
I believe in ESGI so much that I have partnered with them to create 2nd grade assessments. You can sign up for a 60 day free trial on their website using the code SADDLE UP. My promo code will also score you some huge savings off the purchase price. You can get a closer look at ESGI in this blog post.
You have my word that you will fall in love with this tool.
EDPuzzle is a free assessment tool that allows users to create videos with interactive features. You can choose to embed already-created videos from YouTube, TED, Vimeo, National Geographic, or even your own video. When you embed a video or upload your own, EDPuzzle will then prompt you to make it interactive. You can add open-ended or multiple choice questions, comments, and audio notes or voice-overs.
When students encounter a question, EDPuzzle will pause the video and students cannot continue until they complete the task. I love using this tool with primary grades since they are such visual learners! EDPuzzle also connects to Google Classroom, making it a seamless process if your school is a GAFE school.
Kahoot! is a favorite among students. This free online tool is perfect to spark a little healthy in-class competition while reviewing course material. As the teacher, you create a Kahoot! and project the pin so students may join. For example, you may want to create a Kahoot! Quiz to go along with vocabulary lessons.
Students are required to provide a name, or they can use a silly one generated by Kahoot!. Be sure to pre-teach the expectation that all names must be appropriate for the classroom. You have the option to remove students from the game if this happens.
Because students answer questions with symbols on their devices based on what is on the main screen (i.e. your smart board or projected screen), it’s ideal for even beginning readers. Go check it out and play with all the settings! (A word of caution: Kahoot! allows you to search for Kahoots made by other users. As with anything on the web, be sure to check the quality and accuracy of the information before administering it to students.)