Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Formative Assessment As A Closure Activity

As we develop units of study our focus starts on what we want students to know, how will they demonstrate that knowledge and how will we assess that knowledge. If we integrate the universal design for learning framework we effectively represent content in a variety of ways, provide options and variation for students to apply what they learned and for us to assess, and we have a focus on engaging students in a variety of ways. Regardless of the variations and framework of our lessons the use of effective closure should have a place. How do we provide students with an opportunity to reflect on a lesson and connect their experiences to the lesson objective? Can a closure activity also be a formative assessment?

The use of exit cards is an effective closure activity that provides us with a formative assessment of student learning. This may be a sticky note or index card in which students provide answers to one or more prompts. This may be as simple as:

  • "What are three things you learned today?"

  • "What is something that is confusing you about today's lesson?"

Questions may be more content specific.

  • "What are the three major events that led to the New Deal"? 

The 3-2-1 Exit Card provides a consistent framework:

1. What are three things that you learned in class today?
2. What are two questions that you still have?
3.  What is one aspect of the class that you enjoyed or did not enjoy.

Some teachers have students post their exit cards to a board as they exit the room. This provides a quick visual for teachers to review responses and modify instruction the next day based on the results. Online discussion boards provides a collaborative approach to exit cards. Using this method students may post and respond to each others answers allowing for an extension of the class discussion as well as opportunities for peer to peer instruction.

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