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Tools for (Formative Assessment)

Tools for (Formative Assessment)
When teachers know their students well, they can build strong connections that lead to better learning. Knowing students’ interests, strengths, and weaknesses help teachers tailor learning experiences for their students. Formative assessment involves the teacher collecting information about what students know, don’t know, and want to learn. This information takes many forms, including observations, exit tickets, discussions, games, and quizzes. These kinds of informal assessments can also help teachers get to know their students as learners and as people. There is a very wide variety of digital formative assessment tools that can be used for free (often charging for extra features). One of the biggest advantages to using these kinds of tools is that they give every student in a class a voice.

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What is Mystery Skype? (Skype) Mystery Skype is an education game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions. It has totally transformed the way students learn about the world in my school. Not only does it engage students, but it excites teachers to teach a topic that has long been a short sharp look through an atlas and a glossed over part of the curriculum.

Assessment and Rubrics A collection of rubrics for assessing portfolios, group work/cooperative learning, concept map, research process/ report, PowerPoint, oral presentation, web page, blog, wiki, and other social media projects. Quick Links to Rubrics Social Media Project Rubrics Wiki RubricCriteria for assessing individual and group Wiki contributions. 10 Useful Educational Apps and Tools for 1:1 Classroom If you happen to teach in a 1:1 classroom then you will definitely be concerned about the educational apps to use with your students. There are tons out there for sure, but many of them are not worthwhile. To this end we curated this selection of some of the most popular apps and tools among 1:1 classroom teachers. Browse through the suggested titles and see what you want to adapt in your class.

Introduce the RAN Graphic Organizer (Padlet) We are starting a new Inquiry Unit on Animals and we are in the "Immersion phase" of the inquiry circle. Which means, I am inviting curiosity, teaching background knowledge, and inviting students to wonder about different animals. One of the things that I want my students to include in their Inquiry learning is what their animals habitat is. I also wanted to introduce them to a new graphic organizer called the RAN strategy, which stands for Reading and Analyzing Nonfiction. A RAN chart is a lot like a KWL chart. Teaching and Assessing Reading Comprehension (Explain Everything) This past year, I really focused on explicitly teaching comprehension strategies to my students. I taught how to reread a text, annotate a text, leaving tracks of thinking while reading, questioning techniques and most importantly, instilling in my students that reading is thinking. We used Padlet walls to show our thinking, we drew pictures and wrote information digitally as I read aloud, we used today’s meet to make our thinking visible. Using these different strategies kept my students engaged and allowed their thinking to be seen by their peers and myself.

Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices My Edutopia post When Grading Harms Student Learning generated a lot of buzz. Grading is an emotional subject, with strong-held opinions and ideas. I was really excited to see discussion on all sides of the issue. The best feedback for me was that, while many readers agreed with parts of the premise, I hadn't been specific on support strategies. Thank you for that feedback -- it was specific, actionable, and created the need and excitement for a follow-up post. While there are many tools out there that help address concerns around redoes, zeroes, not grading homework, and more, here are some of my favorites:

54 Flipped Classroom Tools For Teachers And Students - 54 Flipped Classroom Tools For Teachers And Students by TeachThought Staff The flipped classroom has continued to enjoy momentum years after its introduction, speaking to its flexible nature, and to the need for a real change in thinking in how we think of time and space in education. 6 Ready To Go iPad Centers A few of the following iPad Centers/Stations I have posted before, however I thought it might be useful to post them again, at the beginning of the year so you know they are here if you want to try something new during your literacy or math block. All of the centers can be done using one or two iPads at the center and are actual centers that my students used last year. I hope you find them useful or they spark new ideas to try with your students.

Take Three! 55 Digital Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success There is no shortage of strategies, techniques, and tools available to teachers who use formative assessment in their classrooms. It’s been over a year since we published our blog on digital tools and apps for formative assessment success and some of them we listed are no longer around. The good news is that there are new tools and apps that are available today that can help facilitate evidence of student learning. Here is an updated version of our list of digital tools and apps for formative assessment success. 10 Tips For Smarter iPad Use In The Classroom Unlocking The Learning Potential Of The iPad by Terry Heick The iPad. Pop culture’s plaything and #edtech’s (somewhat dimming?)

Some Excellent Rubric Generators for Teachers July 3, 2016 A few days ago we published here in EdTech and mLearning a collection of some interesting web tools teachers can use to create educational rubrics. Today, we are adding this wonderful resource from Teachnology which is basically a huge selection of pre-made rubrics and rubric generators that can be integrated into different subject areas. As we have argued elsewhere, rubrics are helpful for both teachers and students: teachers can use them when designing lesson plans and grading assignments; students can use them to make sure they meet the learning expectations and requirements of an assignment or project work.

Manipulating Shapes in the Elementary Math Classroom (Geoboard) As a former elementary school teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, I know how powerful iPads can be as learning tools in the hands of students. This mobile device is so much more than a content consumption tool, because students can use an iPad for hands-on learning. They can move items across the screen, write about a topic, and document their learning using audio and visual tools. No Rubber Bands Required

Cooperative Learning: 7 Free PDF Assessment Instruments Introduction Evaluating cooperative learning activities may seem like a Herculean task. But, actually it's not. Like any other assessment, you must determine in advance what you would like to assess and to what degree. What does research really say about iPads in the classroom? Two educators put the research to the test. When (and how) are iPads most effective? Popular mobile devices may come and go, but the iPad has remained a hit in the K-12 classroom. But even though they’re in schools, our work with teachers has led us to understand that while many of them would like to use iPads meaningfully in their classrooms, they can’t because of time, access, and training. So for the past year and a half, we’ve both been working with teachers and university students integrating iPad technology into the classroom in a controlled way. While doing this, we came across several outcomes that made us question and dig deeper into what the research actually says about using them in the classroom.

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