Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Idea Number Four

Classroom Techniques:  Formative Assessment Idea Number Four

Over the last couple of months, or so, we’ve blogged on a number of formative assessment strategies, all designed to elicit evidence of student learning so that teachers can adjust their classroom instruction effectively. To recap the first three ideas:

1. The Popsicle™ Stick
2. The Exit Ticket
3. The Whiteboard

Each of these formative assessment strategies is simple, inexpensive and designed to engage all students in classroom learning.

The fourth formative assessment idea is one that is most often called “Corners.” While this idea can take on a number of different iterations, the foundation of it is consistent; each classroom corner represents a different answer or view on a different question or theory. When a question or topic is being discussed, each student goes to the corner that best represents his or her answer. Based on classroom discussion, students can move from corner to corner adjusting their answer or opinion.

Corners don’t have to represent answers. They can also represent students’ comfort with or understanding of the topic. If they don’t understand the topic being discussed, they can go to one corner with students of a similar level of understanding. Corners can then be paired with other corners for student discussion.

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.

Have you used or heard of corners being used in the classroom? How did it work?