Thursday, July 7, 2016

ABC's of Successful Teaching!

For the next 26 days I am planning a trip through the ABC's of Successful Teaching...IN MY OPINION!  I want to provide you with examples, reasoning, and ways to implement.
I hope you will find it helpful!!
One key element to successful teaching is assessment.
I agree to a point.  Many assessments are pointless BUT strong FORMATIVE assessments can be quick, part of a lesson or activity, and can be teacher or student driven. 
These assessments are usually non graded and meant to give the teacher or student a "QUICK" look at what understanding of a skill or concept is taking place.
Formative assessments can help with grouping, lesson planing, and differentiating.
In my classroom I assess often and in a number of different ways.
I bet you do to.

What is Formative assessment:  including diagnostic testing, is a range of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.  

1.  Exit Slips
These can be half sheets of paper that you have prepared ahead of time or even scrap paper.  They can have the task written on it or you can verbally give the students the information.  We've all heard about them but do we use them?
These should be quick and provide information for the teacher.
They help students think critically and reflect on what they learned.
Some students may need to draw or verbally respond.
I allow my students to say...I do not know.  That is a BIG clue we need more work.
  • After a lesson on the vowel team EA have the students write as many words with EA as they can think of.  
  • Following a group reading have the students list the main idea, a character, the setting.
  • Write a complete sentence.  Write a question.  Write a question and then answer it.
  • Share one thing you learned after today's lesson.
  • What is a verb?  noun?  adjective?
Math is perfect for exit slips.
Here are samples of some I have prepared ahead of time.

These can be found:

2.  Graphic Organizers
I find these especially helpful in the area of comprehension.
They can be done after a group story or completed after independent or small group reading.
These, when completed independently REALLY provide you with a picture of the student's understanding of the text.  
In writing they are a useful tool for the student to gather their information and then for you the teacher to provide input about what they might want to add or change.

Here are some samples:

3.  Morning "Eye Openers"
As students enter in the morning I always like to have something on their desk for them to work on while everything gets settled down.  This is a perfect time for some quick formative "review" assessment.
It might be a math page, a language page, a question such as "what do you know about Christopher Columbus?".
Here are samples of what I use.  They review a variety of material we have covered.  In correcting them it gives me a clear picture of what student needs work on a specific skill.
These are helpful for me and the students.  Sometimes we correct them together so the students can see what they need to work on.

Other forms of quick FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT:
Word lists
Vocabulary lists
Spelling pre tests
Pre Writing activities
Quick Read with student (reading level accurate)
Let's Make Words

4.  Games
Look how this game can be a quick assessment of addition skills.
I suggest you play games with your students. They are  perfect for discussion, a teachable moment, assessing student understanding.  Games also get students communicating and discussing strategies.
Sometimes times these are a welcome "switch" from paper pencil activities.

Check it out.

And games for Literacy...

Share one new thing you learned from this post.
I'd love to hear your responses in the comment area!



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