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Five Favorite Formative Assessment Tools

By October 9, 2015 No Comments

formative assessment

I hope all educators would agree on the importance of formative assessment.  What we might disagree on is the method for assessing.  Maybe you have your “quizzes” all made up from previous years.  Maybe your district requires everyone to administer the same assessments.  Or maybe, you are always looking for new (and engaging) ways to take the temperature of your class.  If that’s you, you might like these digital tools.

  1. Google Forms – I love Google Drive, so it seems natural to include two quick ideas for formative assessment from Google Apps.  The first one is easy.  Create a Google form with any questions you are wanting to check.  You can quickly view the responses in a spreadsheet, or in graphs to surmise real-time what needs to be review before moving on.
  2. Google Slides – You might not have thought of using Google Slides as a formative assessment tool.  My favorite way for a quick check is to share out a presentation that you have created to the class (use Google Classroom for easiest/quickest whole-class sharing).  The students are assigned one slide to demonstrate learning.  For example, you just taught a writing mini lesson on writing strong leads.  Each student has to type their lead onto a Google Slide within the class presentation you have shared.  Then (and here is the powerful piece), each student has to read and comment on three other slides.  If there are already three comments on that slide, they have to move to a different one.  So, you can read all the leads in one place, but the students can also get peer review and advice.
  3. Kahoot – Kahoot can be used for review and/or formative assessments.  Students have fun using this interactive website to show what they know.  An awesome feature is that there are pre-made Kahoots that you can access or create your own.
  4. EdPuzzle – This is a tool I just recently discovered, but the ways to use it are endless.  There are Chrome, iOS, and Android apps.  You can clip a video from multiple sources (YouTube, Khan, etc) and add your own questions at different stop points along the play time.  This ensures better student engagement, and allows you to check for understanding, too.
  5. Padlet – Picture a posterboard where students can slap a sticky note to show learning.  Padlet is the digital version.  In addition to adding quick notes, though, they can embed videos, add images, and links.  The teacher can pose a question, and students prove their learning on the shared Padlet.  It’s both, easy and quick.

It was a bit difficult for me to choose just five resources.  There are many, many tools designed specifically for formative assessment, but there are endless possibilities when you look at old tools in new ways.  So, try something new to drive your instruction and engage students in their own learning.  As always, feel free to share your favorite resources in the comment section!