I wrote my Masters thesis about assessment in the library. One (me) would think that I would be better at assessment. It’s something we all probably need to work on. I know I do.
I get caught up in an idea for a lesson and I do a good job (I think) at planning it. I try to keep students engaged. I monitor, facilitate, and can see that they’re learning. But the documentation? I’m so bad at it. I think most of us in elementary schools who teach fixed classes struggle to document in our short time periods for the large numbers of students we see each week. Collaborating with teachers to make the skills we assess, and the assessments, real and meaningful is a continual challenge.
For a few lessons recently I’ve used Exit Tickets to assess student’s perception of their learning.
I keep the tickets anonymous and just have students write the date at the top. I post the objectives on a white board or some chart paper. Students leave the tickets behind for me and I do a quick count after they leave to see how we did. So far this has been good to say to a teacher “90% of them feel like experts” or “we need to work on this one some more.”
I know that the idea of Exit Tickets is not new. Asking students to write about what they have learned is a great strategy for aiding their self-reflection skills. It gives teachers some specific skills that students learned and what they still need to work on. But I always fight time in a big way. Getting most of my students to write about the objectives could take anywhere from 3-10 minutes. Three minutes is fine, but the students who need 10 minutes to finish the sentence or two of reflection are the ones who probably need more time engaged in the lesson or in book checkout. I thought a quick rating scale would minimize the time and still provide me with some accurate feedback.
- keep these handy in stacks, but copy in different colors so grade levels don’t get mixed up. (An issue I had the first week of using them.)
- put two colors of pens out on the table and change the slip to say “before” and “after.” Have students pre-assess their skill at one objective by circling with one color as the lesson starts and then the other color at the end.
- make a large poster of the Exit Ticket with space to write in the objective. A good way to post those objectives for the class and to make it easy for students to use the ticket.
- I should actually write down the data from the tickets in Excel. Then I could track data between classes and over time.
- I can ask students to rate an objective taught previously and ask how much they think they remember about a skill