My goal is to implement a couple of formative assessment strategies every month. This month I've tried to implement 3 of them. Well, 4, if you count attempting to be consistent in posting learning targets.
I plan to split this up into separate posts, otherwise, I’ll never end up hitting ‘submit’.
This really isn't much of a formative assessment strategy by itself. When I first started teaching, I used it to keep the kids busy while I took attendance and got myself ready to rock and roll. I never did much with the information I got back from the students. A couple of years (more than a decade) later, things have changed. Now, instead of trying to give myself a chance to breathe or stave off discipline problems, this is about attempting to fill in gaps in my students knowledge, keep major ideas and skills fresh, and generally push students towards deeper thinking regarding topics they’ve already seen. I could probably keep the list going for another paragraph or so. Quick little aside on this being self-serving: I'm hoping this will end my issues with students not knowing how to create a line from two points come the end of May when we spend almost 3 months on linearity at the beginning of the year.
If I’m honest with myself about warm-ups right now--I hate them. I love what they look like in class but the amount of time warm-ups take is unreal. I need to figure out a way to do this quicker. Do I have a classroom conversation about the material or don't I? What's the point of having a problem in class if we don't interact over it? How do I know how well my students understand the material without having a conversation about it? But warm-ups always seems to take 10 minutes! That's 1/5th of my class. It'd work better if I only did warm-ups a couple of times a week but I don't know how to make it into a rhythm if it doesn't happen normally. Maybe I can pull back on it after another month or so.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
I keep reminding myself--I need to go slow to go fast. I just don’t know that I believe it every day.
If you’re interested in what I’m working with, I stole a bunch of stuff from the #MTBoS and decided to compile them in different Google presentations. Whatever the slide deck I’m using for the day, when I create it, I copy a slide from one of the warm-up files and put it in the daily presentation. Here’s my current treasure trove.