How to Engage Students When Delivering Formative Assessments
In education, the phrase formative assessment is part of daily conversation. It seems as though we are constantly assessing our students to see where they are and how we can adjust our instruction to meet their needs. While there are a variety of ways to evaluate students, my favorite, hands-down, is the live polling feature on ClassFlow.
I use ClassFlow with my students every day for warm-ups, mini-lessons, and assignments. The live polling feature has been huge on increasing the engagement of my students in formative assessments. Thankfully, I have enough devices (iPads, Chromebooks, and desktops) in my classroom for each student to participate. However, I have noticed the power of having students work in pairs or small groups during warm-ups to promote collaborative learning.
My favorite way to perform formative assessments and engage my students is in the middle of delivering a lesson with a live poll so that I can get an idea of how well they are understanding the material being taught. I have classes set up in ClassFlow and each student has his or her own account. These classes allow me to collect student data on the spot or analyze at a later date. I usually do a creative poll so that my students can draw, type, etc. with the math problem, but there are other options, such as True/False, Multiple Choice, Word Seed, etc. depending on the kind of data you need.
My students love interacting with content that’s projected on our interactive whiteboard. It’s so much better than having students hold up their dry-erase whiteboard when they are done answering a problem because I can use the data in many different ways after the lesson is over.
When we go to the results screen after everyone has answered, students are excited to see their card chosen as it gives them the opportunity to come to the board and explain their thinking. Sometimes I will purposefully choose a student who got the wrong answer in order to promote discussion.
Formative assessments help to guide our instruction, and I can’t think of a better format to engage students. Having student data at my fingertips 24/7 has significantly improved my teaching and my students’ learning this school year.
Author: Toni Madison, a ClassFlow Ambassador and currently a 7th grade Math teacher in Virginia. She is currently in her 12th year of teaching.