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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

What strategy can double student learning gains? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment, defined by Bill Younglove as "the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately." Unlike summative assessment, which evaluates student learning according to a benchmark, formative assessment monitors student understanding so that kids are always aware of their academic strengths and learning gaps. Meanwhile, teachers can improve the effectiveness of their instruction, re-teaching if necessary. "When the cook tastes the soup," writes Robert E. Stake, "that's formative; when the guests taste the soup, that's summative." Alternative formative assessment (AFA) strategies can be as simple (and important) as checking the oil in your car -- hence the name "dipsticks." In the sections below, we'll discuss things to consider when implementing AFAs. 53 Ways to Check for Understanding

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/dipsticks-to-check-for-understanding-todd-finley

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30-Day Minimalism Challenge Have you ever heard of the “fresh start effect”? It’s the phenomenon that big goals and tricky habit changes are much easier to achieve after temporal cut-offs like our birthday, the holidays … or the new year. Moral of the story: If you have big plans for 2015, use the momentum and get started right away! With a little challenge for example! For this post, I’ve compiled 30 one-day assignments to help you dip your toes into minimalist living, discover lots of new things about yourself and get a big head start. EFL 2.0 Resources $29.95 for lifetime access to all content – now and forever! Including videos. All resources well organized, at your finger tips. Register and pay below. Get a one stop resource library! What is a Rubric? Heidi Andrade Rubrics have become popular with teachers as a means of communicating expectations for an assignment, providing focused feedback on works in progress, and grading final products. Although educators tend to define the word “rubric” in slightly different ways, Heidi Andrade’s commonly accepted definition is a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by listing the criteria, or what counts, and describing levels of quality from excellent to poor.

Interview: Frances Jensen On The Teenage Brain Research into how the human brain develops helps explain why teens have trouble controlling impulses. Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Corbis hide caption toggle caption Leigh Wells/Ikon Images/Corbis 5 Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessment Tools I thought I could read my students' body language. I was wrong. As an experiment, I used Socrative when I taught binary numbers. What I learned forever changed my views on being a better teacher. Why Formative Assessment Makes Better Teachers

5 Tips for a More Meaningful Rubric Sarah Wike Loyola , Upper School Spanish Teacher, Spanish Team Leader, and Technology Mentor in Charlotte, NC Posted 06/08/2015 12:26PM | Last Commented 07/06/2015 2:30PM Every educator feels pretty darn cool the first few times they grade students' work. What a powerful feeling it ignites in us, right? Why Chaucer Said 'Ax' Instead Of 'Ask,' And Why Some Still Do : Code Switch Zach Galifianakis makes an Ax joke. YouTube The most common stereotype of black vernacular is the pronunciation of the word "ask" as "ax." "Ax" has gotten a bad rap for years. Pronounce "ask" as "ax," and immediately many will assume that you're poor, black and uneducated.

Creativity on the Run: 18 Apps that Support the Creative Process "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein We do not need to teach creativity, but rather inspire its daily practice. Somewhere along the way, we simply forgot to honor this innate gift and how to access its power. Our role as educators is to encourage learning experiences that increase the ability to recognize and listen to our inner voice. Let us begin by shifting emphasis from finding the right answer to creating school cultures that encourage risk-taking and embrace ambiguity. 4 Easy Tips and Tricks for Creating Visually Engaging Rubrics Lisa Yokana recently shared a useful rubric in her post on "Creating an Authentic Maker Education Rubric." As this post was making the rounds on social media, Edutopia staff received a number of requests to distribute a modifiable version of her sample maker rubric that educators could adjust to the particulars of their own settings. Editable Maker Rubric To satisfy that need, I’ve created two different versions of Lisa's sample maker rubric in Microsoft Word and Google Docs formats.

Depression What Is Depression? Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness. Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. Empowering Teachers With Tech-Friendly Formative Assessment Tools Formative assessment is an important part of effective instruction. Teachers can use observations, checklists, and quick quizzes to gather data that will inform their instruction. Formative assessment identifies areas where students are excelling and struggling so that teachers can best alter their instruction to meet the needs of all students. Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to work with a school looking to strengthen its formative assessment data collection by leveraging the power of tech-friendly tools.

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20 Simple Assessment Strategies You Can Use Every Day 20 Simple Assessment Strategies You Can Use Every Day by Saga Briggs The ultimate goal of teaching is understanding. But sometimes it’s easier to talk than to teach, as we all know, especially when we need to cover a lot of material in a short amount of time.

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