Formative assessments, such as response cards, are a range of formal and informal assessments. Teachers use them during the learning process in order to determine the following.
- Where their students learning abilities are at
- If teaching and instruction needs to change
- If instruction can move forward to new skills that have yet to be accomplished
Formative Assessment – What Is It?
Formative assessments can happen in a variety of ways. The most popular ways are through quizzes, homework, and with class participation. Formative assessment allows the teacher to check in on the progress of the student towards the summative goal. Typically, they are usually small, quick, check-ins that just give the teacher a glance at the student’s current performance. They are not a formal and thorough review. That is a summative assessment and is for the end of the unit.
It’s the formative assessment, through class participation, where I have a system that makes it quick, easy, and fun to assess and participate. This involves the use of response cards.
Response cards provide an interactive way for students to participate in the lesson at hand. Response cards have anywhere from 3-8 answers on them and are used throughout many subjects. The card, pictured above, is a universally useful response card, because it fits all multiple choice and true/false questions.
I’ve also seen response cards that are more specific to the subject, such as elements from the list of noble gases for chemistry class. In a social studies class there may be a set of Spanish explorers for instance.
Response Cards – How Do They Work?
This universal set of response cards come in a variety of colors and arrangements to suit many purposes. There is a black and white set for those that don’t have access to color printers. There are also a menagerie of color options to go with your color preferences or to create up to 7 teams per classroom.
Give each student a card and ask them multiple choice and/or true/false questions. Students then put their finger or thumb over their answer. When printed back to back, according to the directions, the same letter/word is covered in the front as in the back. The teacher can see it no matter where they are in the room. It also provides immediate feedback to everyone in the room.
It’s simple, fun, colorful, engaging for the students, and easy for the teacher. It’s formative assessment in a snap.
Pick up these Formative Assessment Response Cards in my Teachers Pay Teachers store today.