I recently read an excellent resource from Kathy Dyer on nwea.org titled “22 Easy Formative Assessment Techniques for Measuring Student Learning ” In it she details many formative assessment that can be generically applied to nearly any topic. Many of them can be done with little preparation and are thought to be effective. There’s no doubt that I’ll be using some of them at a latter date. I’ll cover the use of one of those here, and a couple other ideas which I had.
In a recent lesson plan, I’m trying to teach the content of measuring motion to ELL students. I spent a good amount of time thinking about formative assessments for the ELA common core standard about visual data. While the possibilities are nearly limitless, here are a few that I like which address the reading, interpreting, and creation of graphs.
1. Have the students read articles or snippets with important information contained in various visual formats. This is useful because you can show the students how this information is found in the world abroad. You can do this by collecting a range of articles for students to pick out, or you can have them read the same article. That really just depends on your resources. Alternatively this can be a homework assignment to find scientific articles where graphs are used. This depends on the homework load of your students and how independently they can work. In anycase, once they have the graph in their hands, you can either have them turn-in something written or verbally check their comprehension.
2. Let’s work on a variant of “New Clothes” which could breath a little creative excitement into this standard. Introduce the work of Fathom or other data scientists and artists. Give the students a scientific a data set, like migration patters, and see if the students can come up with creative posters.
3. I love verbal check-ins with gradual release. It’s something I try to do as much as possible. It itself is a sort of formative assessment. If you have the luxury of flexible time frames, you can adjust the passing of the lesson as you informally check in with your students. So here I am suggesting that you have a dialogue with your students, simple verbal questioning. This should produce responses which demonstrate understanding. If you’re not getting good responses then you need to slow down and review, maybe from a different approach. Other types of formative assessment can also be used with gradual release.
10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds. (2013). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/assessment/10-assessments-you-can-perform-in-90-seconds/
Dyer, K. (2013, July 12). 22 Easy Formative Assessment Techniques for Measuring Student Learning. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from https://www.nwea.org/blog/2013/22-easy-formative-assessment-techniques-for-measuring-student-learning/
Fathom projects. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://fathom.info/projects
English Language Arts Standards » Science & Technical Subjects » Grade 9-10 » 7. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2016, from http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RST/9-10/7/