Student growth is important to all teachers, but never more so than in this day and age. This is largely due to politicians tying student growth to teacher evaluations and/or pay. For this reason, we are seeing more pre and post tests given in the classroom. Some teachers are even required by their administration to complete this process daily.
There are only so many times you can have students complete an exit ticket, and we all love a good K-W-L, but completing these things on the daily can even take the fun out of an activity like Kahoot. Below are some ways to switch up your pre and post assessment game.
1. Graffiti Wall:
Have students complete a brainstorm on a large sheet of paper posted on the wall. If you want to keep track of who wrote what, you can divide it into sections and allow students to record their answers in their assigned box.
2. Google Classroom Survey:
If you are a teacher well versed in google classroom, send out a survey the day or week before. Have students complete the survey for homework prior to class. This is a great way to have individual information recorded (hello intervention), and less paperwork to deal with. Just make sure to have a few printed surveys for those frequent “no homework” flyers.
3. Scenario Question:
This is a great way to hook the students on your lesson without them even realizing they are completing a pre-assessment. Obviously, it works better with some standards/topics than others. Give the students a scenario and have them explain what will happen next or why an outcome occurred. You can also ask them what steps they would need to take to change the scenario. I have seen it used very successfully with Social Studies and Science. For instance, completing an experiment with no explanation and asking students to write possible reasons for the outcome of the experiment. In government a teacher gave the scenario for what became a supreme court case. The teacher asked the students what steps could be taken to change the situation (looking for their understanding of the judicial process).
Actually list out the parts of the standards students will be learning (think “I can” statements). Have them indicate which items they know the most about to what they know the least about. Rank them by number, letter, or even color (green, red, yellow) based on which they know best/least.
5. Similes or Example:
Ask students to provide a simile or an example of the concept or topic. Based on their answer you can identify how familiar they are with the material and what areas they may not understand as well.
6. Checklist/Anticipatory Guide:
You have probably used this, but there are lots of ways to switch up the format to make it new again. Set your checklist up with a statement in the middle and a topic on either side and have students place a check mark in the box of the topic the statement matches. You can also create a simple true and false, or an agree or disagree. We love that you have the option of adding before and after columns so that it serves as an easy pre and post assessment!
7. Question Guess:
Provide the students with the standard and a list of test questions underneath. Have them choose what the 1-3 MOST important questions based on that standard. BONUS: you can use questions you already have from quizzes and tests so no extra work on your part.
8. Summary Highlight:
Provide a short summary of the topic and have students highlight what they feel least comfortable with and underline the parts they know well.
Graphic organizers are always a great “go to” for these pre and post assessments, but it can be easy to get stuck on one (like K-W-L). We highly recommend the Big Book of Graphic Organizers for anyone looking to change it up. We hope these ways to assess student knowledge are helpful. Comment below if there is a strategy/assessment you use that we didn’t mention.