Elementary Science

Assessing Students

What are some ways I can check for understanding of concepts without always giving tests or quizzes?

Briza Luna
Briza Luna
60 Activity Points

You could have the students do an activity on their own. The activity will assess whatever skill you want them to know. For example: if you are teaching them about the water cycle, have the students create a diagram of the water cycle and define each part of the cycle. The students defining each part of the water cycle, shows you that they know what each part does. 

Blake Alexander
Blake Alexander
295 Activity Points

Hi! Some other informal ways to check for understanding can be a project, a skit, songs, poems, models, or writing.  I hope this helps!

Ashalenia Graham
Ashalenia Graham
985 Activity Points

One way that you can assess your students other than quizzez and tests is by doing games and activities. These games and activities will help you check for understanding while still having fun with your srtudents.

Erica Garcia
Erica Garcia
300 Activity Points

Activities work really well when trying to assess students and avoiding tests and quizzes. I like to also use something formative like exit slips. They are quick and to the point. It's an informal assessment, but I believe it's effective. Below is a Reading Rockets link to exit slips. 

https://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/exit_slips

Kassey Macias
Kassey Macias
455 Activity Points

Hi Briza! 

This is a really important question and, as a current teacher candidate, something that I am learning about in my courses. I have realized the importance of models as assessment opportunities. By scientific modeling, students are able to "do" science instead of memorizing it long enough for a test. I have found that these assessments take longer to construct at first, but the students remain engaged and connected to the material. I also like a lot of ideas I have found on theteachertoolkit website. They have activity ideas that could be used as a type of assessment. 

Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
1555 Activity Points

One way to assess student learning wiithout a test or quiz is through a performance task. Performance tasks allow students to demostrate their understanding of a topic without using a traditional test or quiz. One model of perofrmance task that I've used for lessons is the GRASPS model, whic hstands for Goal, Role, Audience, Situation, Product/Performance and Purpose, and Standards and Criteria for Success. This gives students a specific task to complete and criteria for them to be evaluated. 

Autumn Trexel
Autumn Trexel
2300 Activity Points

You can assess learning through quick, formative assessments such as: exit tickets, thumb up/sideways/down, concepts maps, etc. These activites provide a stress-free way to assess student knowledge. Not grading these activities will allow students to let you know what they really know. You can even mix it up with a fun activity. For example, in lesson I was creating on air masses students had to create a tweet (140 characters or less) about what they learned that day in class. 

Molly Heffron
Molly Heffron
1725 Activity Points

There are many ways that teachers can assess students without giving quizzes and test. Before teaching a lesson, students could do a quick write or create a concept map, so the teacher can get an idea of what the students already know. These pre-assessments can also help the teacher uncover student prior misconceptions. During a lesson, teachers can ask students to show a thumbs up, thumbs sideways, or a thumbs down to check for understanding. This is something that I've used during my lessons, so I know if I need to provide another example, or move on. At the end of a lesson, students can use sticky notes to write something down that they learned. This is something that can be done anonymously, so students can share what they've learned without feeling pressured to share aloud.

Hailey Traver
Hailey Traver
2010 Activity Points

Hi there! I have found that "exit tickets" are helpful, along with kahoots (I know this is a quiz but I have never met a student who does not enjoy them), or even creating a choice board. When creating a choice board, you are giving your students different options for how they want to show you their knowledge. This could be through creating a poster, writing a song, doing a scavenger hunt, etc. all related to the topic you are trying to assess them on. I have also found that choice boards are motivating to students to do their work because they feel that they have responsibility and freedom to choose how they want to show you their understanding of a topic- they love the freedom!

Kate Mellon
Kate Mellon
990 Activity Points

Hi! I like to do an honest check in with my kiddos. I have them close their eyes and give me and thumbs up if they feel like they have it, or a thumbs down if they don't feel confident, or a thumbs in the middle if they're on the fence about the material. I like to incorporate exit tickets daily as well. I create flexible groups and base my kids based on their scores from the exit tickets. That way I can give the appropriate instruction to all my kids to have a more solid consensus of my kids' understanding when I go to assess them and I can give modified exit tickets based on the groups. Kahoot is also a great way to assess kids! I don't know any kid who doesn't like to play this and you can see what questions every student got right or missed. 

Kristen Mitchell
kristen mitchell
1080 Activity Points

Kahoots are a fun and engaging way students can be assessed. They are not the typical form of assessment. Young children get excited while doing Kahoots. After each question, a leaderboard is shown with the five students who have the highest scores. This encourages students to answer the questions correctly so their names can appear on the leaderboard. 

Gabriela Sanchez
Gabriela Sanchez
865 Activity Points

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