Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Idea Number Six

Classroom Techniques:  Formative Assessment Idea Number SixOver the last several months we’ve touched on many areas of formative assessment, including some techniques and ideas that can be used in the classroom at little or no cost. All of these formative assessment ideas are designed to a) elicit evidence of student learning so the teacher can adjust his/her plan to better teach students, and b) engage the entire classroom and involve all students in their own learning.

So far, our blogs have touched on the following formative assessment ideas:


1. The Popsicle™ Stick
2. The Exit Ticket
3. The Whiteboard
4. Corners
5. Think-Pair-Share

The next idea is most often referred to as Two Stars and a Wish. As Black and Wiliam’s research showed in 1998, feedback strategies raise the standards of student performance, and Two Stars and a Wish is designed to provide student feedback via peer- and self-assessment.

In short, it solicits Two Stars – areas where the student’s work excelled – and one Wish – an area where there can be some level of improvement. It can be administered in several ways, and ideally all three over time:

1. Review an anonymous piece of work with the entire class and have all students provide feedback

2. Break the class into pairs and have them review each other’s work

3. Have each student assess their own work

Two Stars and a Wish helps activate students and empower them as owners of their learning, and research suggests that self-regulation of learning leads to student performance improvement.

Have you ever used Two Stars and a Wish in the classroom? If so, we’d love to hear how it worked and what you thought, so drop a comment below.