Classroom techniques: Formative assessment idea number 4

Classroom Techniques:  Formative Assessment Idea Number Four

Over the last few months, we’ve blogged on three formative assessment strategies designed to elicit evidence of student learning: the Popsicle Stick, the Exit Ticket, and the Whiteboard.

Formative assessment can help you adjust your classroom instruction effectively. Each of these formative assessment strategies is simple, inexpensive, and designed to engage all students in classroom learning.

Let’s add one more to your list: Corners.

How four walls can help you teach

While Corners can take on a number of different iterations, the foundation of it is consistent: each corner in your classroom represents a different answer or view on a different question or theory.

When a question or topic is first introduced, each student goes to the corner that best represents their answer. Based on classroom discussion, students can then move from corner to corner, adjusting their answer or opinion.

[E]ach corner in your classroom represents a different answer or view on a different question or theory.

Corners don’t have to represent specific answers. They can also represent students’ comfort with or understanding of a topic. For example, if they don’t understand a topic being discussed, they can go to one corner with students who have a similar level of understanding. This makes it easier to pair students who “get it” with those who are struggling and have students collaborate to understand the challenging subject.

There’s no right or wrong formative assessment technique. In fact, a formative assessment strategy that works for one classroom might not work for another. The bottom line is to engage the entire student body in discussion and dialogue in a way that allows the teacher to elicit evidence of student learning. Give Corners a try, and see if it works for your kids.


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