Assessment Techniques

I subscribe to a resource called “The Teaching Chanel,” which produces videos from real teachers about topics related to education. You can select your preferences and interests, and they will send you links to items that match your interests. I listed one of my interests as assessment and found a couple of videos.

The following link ( utm_source=Teaching+Channel+Newsletter&utm_campaign=50aedf0a0e-Newsletter_February_22_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_23c3feb22a-50aedf0a0e-292366833 ) is one of the videos that captured my interest. The video is made my an elementary teacher who essentially found a better way to do MAD minutes. In case you aren’t familiar with MAD minutes, it is a series of mathematical questions (ranging in the number of questions, as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or mixed) that a student has one minute to answer. The difference is that this teacher uses “Infinitely Reusable Folders for Practice and Assessment.” This is simply a duo-tang with a page protector in it (for the daily MAD minute). The students have dry erase markers and write the answers directly on the page protector, instead of the page itself. When the minute is up, the teacher collects the student’s books that have completed the questions to check for accuracy (hence, assessment); however, if the student did not finish they keep the book and try again the next day. Also in the duo-tang is a recording sheet for passing a level (mastery of a certain number).

I think this is an innovative idea, and I really like it. While this teacher uses it with her younger elementary kids, I would like to find a way to use it will older, high school kids. One way I have thought about using this is for ESL or EAL students. Since scaffolding is important for these language learning students, perhaps using up to 5 words with definitions would work. It could be as simple as listing 5 words that are common to the unit of study and having students come up with their own meaning of the word (not timed, and only using a translator – no dictionary). Another way to use this could be during a novel study or play. The teacher could do matching charts with the list of characters on one side, and their corresponding role or action on the other side. I think doing these quick activities can reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom, as well as be a quick indicator of what the student is expected to learn. It can also be used as a study guide for future reference.

A similar video ( ) features “Pattern Folders: A Literary Analysis Tool.” In this video, students use library book pockets in a folder to separate their thoughts. This is used to find textual evidence and themes from literary studies, including short stories, novels and plays. This would be especially helpful for larger pieces of texts. Because this strategy already aligns with my English background, and can be helpful for students during large studies of text, I would use it in the same manner. I also like that this teacher collects it after they have found some themes to give feedback and assess the work. This is a great organizational strategy for breaking down the themes in a large text.

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