Last week, I attended PD session with my department and the presenter talked a bit about how “assessment” can sometimes be considered a “dirty word.” And it is true: sitting through 3 hours of PSATs today with the sophomores and juniors, I do know that there are times when tests seem to eat up a lot of our time in the classroom with students.
However, when assessments are used “for learning” they can be really powerful tools. The 1:1 program has provided us with many options for formative assessment and today I was able to use a couple of them to help me decide if my students were ready for a formal or summative assessment on the geography and spelling of the countries of the Spanish-speaking world. With the 4 day weekend, time is really flying. I needed to decide if I could quiz students this Friday or if we needed more time practicing these two topics. Instead of simply guessing or asking students informally, I spent class today on 3 formative assessments.
Students used the app “GeoChallenge” to practice their geography skills. They got instant feedback while playing the game and I asked them to play until they hit 100% accuracy or as close as possible. Then, we played a Kahoot with the same material and I was able to see exactly which countries students were still struggling to identify as well as the individual students and the class averages. They were pretty good! Lastly, students practiced the spelling of the names of the countries in Spanish on a set of terms in Quizlet. That program showed me which words students were getting correct/incorrect and from the looks of things, they only had a few names to practice! Hooray! It’s time for a summative assessment and I’m fully confident that my students came away from class today with a good idea of the specific terms/countries that they still need to study for their quiz on Friday !