Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Fun Formative Assessment Activity

Hi friends! We had a training during plan this morning where we did a fun little formative assessment activity at the end. I loved it so much that I decided to try it out at the end of today's lesson. All three of my reading classes absolutely LOVED it and were begging to "play" it tomorrow. Here's what we did.

We are deep into Tuck Everlasting and I swear you could hear a pin drop while we're reading. The kids are SO into the plot. We've mostly learned about the character of Winnie Foster, but today we were finally introduced to the Yellow Suit Man and Jesse. I want to make sure that my students have a concrete understanding of our main character so each day we have been reviewing everything we know so far and any new info that we've learned. We add to our character maps and charts and today, I used this new version of formative assessment to quickly see who still needed a little more help. 

We grabbed a piece of paper and wrote one fact about Winnie. I told the kids to stand behind their chair as soon as they finished writing their fact but they absolutely couldn't talk. 

When everyone finished writing their first fact, I told them to crumple the paper into a ball. They all looked at me like I was crazy. :) Then I set some ground rules that they absolutely had to follow or they wouldn't be able to participate (I'm proud to say not one person misbehaved during this!)
Ground Rules:
1) Do not throw the ball at someone
2) Do not run or dive for a ball of crumpled paper
3) Do not throw the crumpled paper where you cannot see it.
4) Keep your eye on where you throw yours so we don't lose any

On the count of three, we threw the balls of crumpled paper into the air.

Next, they had to find another ball of crumpled paper and then return to their seat. It could not be their own paper. Once they returned to their seat, they read the fact on the paper and shared with the class. As a class, we determined if the fact was correct or not. After a couple of people had shared, I told them to write another fact about Winnie that was different than the fact that was already on the paper. 
Then, it was the same process: Stand, throw, grab, read. This went on for five rounds. Each round was a little more difficult because you had to think of facts that hadn't already been included on the paper. 

As they are writing their facts, I'm walking around looking at their responses so I can monitor and clarify when needed. There are so many ways you can use this activity in your classroom. It's sure to be a hit! :)