Classroom Techniques: Formative Assessment Idea Number Eight

Classroom Techniques:  "Jigsaw" - Formative Assessment Idea Number EightWe’re up to eight… and counting! Eight formative assessment ideas that can provide teachers with evidence of learning that can help them adjust their lesson plans to ensure all students understand what’s being taught. Eight formative assessment ideas that engage the entire classroom, creating a truly student centered learning environment.

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
6. Two Stars and a Wish
7. Carousel Brainstorming

This next formative assessment idea is commonly referred to as Jigsaw.  With this concept, the class is broken into groups ranging in size from four to six students. Each student is given an index card with a different question and reads their question aloud to the group. One student in each group is assigned to be a record keeper, keeping track of the number of students that a) get it, b) sort of get it, c) aren’t quite sure, or d) just don’t get it. Once each question has been read, the groups reassemble so that the groups are comprised of students who all had the same question. They then work collaboratively as a team to prepare one answer. The groups then reform to their original members where the answers are shared and the record keeper rescores.

This formative assessment idea is quite collaborative, giving students the ability to self- and peer-assess their work, something that really helps drive formative assessment success.

We’d love to hear what formative assessment ideas you’ve used or seen in the classroom, so drop a comment below and share your thoughts.


Photo Credit to INTVGene

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Kathy Dyer

Kathy Dyer is a Sr. Curriculum Specialist for NWEA, designing and developing learning opportunities for partners and internal staff. Formerly a Professional Development Consultant for NWEA, she coached teachers and school leadership and provided professional development focused on assessment, data, and leadership. In a career that includes 20 years in the education field, she has also served as a district achievement coordinator, principal, and classroom teacher. She received her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Colorado Denver.

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