Whenever a student hears the word “quiz” or “test”, they will most likely go through a small anxiety attack. We now live in a world where testing is a huge part of a young child’s life and it is overwhelming! It’s overwhelming for the student, the teacher, and the parents.

I want to help you take some of the anxiety away from assessing your students, while still receiving authentic results. This is not where I tell you to burn your tests and start petitions to get rid of state testing. Unit testing and state testing are our reality, but we need to engage our students when they are being assessed other times of the year.

There are two types of assessment, formative and summative. Formative assessments should be used to help you alter your lesson while the lesson is in action or alter your lesson the following day. Summative assessments are used to at the end of a lesson series or unit to see which students have grasped the concepts and which have not.

__Here are some of my favorite assessments:__

__Levels of Understanding__

One of the hardest skills to teach a student is how to monitor their own learning progression. The best way to do this is to have them practice rating themselves on how well they understand a concept. In my classroom I have 4 levels of understanding:

- 0- I do not understand the concept even with help.
- 1- I am beginning to understand the concept, but I still need more help.
- 2- I understand the concept with help or an example.
- 3- I am understand the concept but still make a mistake.
- 4- I understand the concept and I could teach it to someone else.

During a lesson I will ask students to rate their learning in front of their heart. This allows me to evaluate my teaching and my students understanding of the lesson. They are not always accurate, but it is more helpful than trying to read their facial expressions.

__This or That__

For this activity, each student will need 2 index cards. Recently I have used this activity with multiplication and division word problems. One card was labeled with multiplication and the other labeled division. I used a PowerPoint with different word problems on each slide. The students were instructed to hold up the card with the correct operation for the word problem. This was a quick way to see which students could determine the difference between the operations in a word problem.

You could also use this for:

- Addition/Subtraction
- Types of Graphs
- 2D/3D
- Polygon/Non-polygons
- Identifying Shapes
- Even/Odd
- Customary/Metric

__Kahoot.com__

This is one of my favorite assessments with any age student! Kahoot is an online game created by you or there are premade games you can edit to meet your needs. You will need a technology device for every group or student, depending on how you want to assess. When the students are finished playing the game, it grades it for you!! You can download the results to your computer or to your Google Drive. If you are last minute lesson planning and need an assessment use this one!! There is little to no prep because chances are someone has already made Kahoot on what you are wanting to assess.

__Plickers__

If you do not have enough technology in your classroom for Kahoot, then Plickers is the answer for you! You will need to set up a free account, print answer cards for each student, and assign the answer cards to the student. For Plickers, you will create a series of questions and the students will answer the questions by turning their student card a certain way. This will take a little direct instruction and for younger students you may need to do a practice “quiz” before using this for a grade. You will need one tablet or phone to scan the student answer cards when they are all finished answering. While you are scanning, it will tell you which students it has recognized and which have not responded yet! Plickers will also grade the quiz for you and you can download the results.

__Cut Up Worksheets__

Below I will show your 3 different games I play with worksheets that I cut up and place around the room. I put the questions in sheet protectors so the students can write on top of the questions. Students are given a piece of notebook paper to record their answers on.

__Zonk__

Materials Needed:

- Poser board
- Laminated di-cut shapes (whatever shape makes your heart happy)
- Sharpie

My rules for Zonk:

- I set a certain amount of time for the class to play.
- Students answer a question around the room on their notebook paper and then come to me to check.
- They get a check on their paper if it’s right and they get to pull off a Texas. They record the point amount on my board and then go to another question.
- If they miss a question, they get a dot and get another chance to answer the same question.
- If a student pulls a Texas with a sad face, they do not get any points that round.
- I hold onto the Texas’ until 3 are pulled off and then I mix the board around.
- When the timer goes off, the student or group with the most points wins!

This is way more engaging for students and it gets them moving around the room!

__Solo Cup Slam__

Materials:

- Tri-Fold Board
- Solo Cups
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue
- Marker
- Ping Pong Balls

My Solo Cup Slam Board

My rules for Solo Cup Slam:

- I set a certain amount of time for the class to play.
- Students answer a question around the room on their notebook paper and then come to me to check.
- They get a check on their paper if it’s right and they get to bounce a ping pong ball off the desk and try to make a basket. I give students 2 shots each time.
- If they miss a question, they get a dot and get another chance to answer the same question.
- Each basket is worth 2 points and they record their score on the board.
- When the timer goes off, the student or group with the most points wins!

__Hit the Target__

Materials:

- ½ yard of felt
- Sharpie
- Yarn to make a perfect circle
- 1 ping pong ball
- Velcro
- Glue Gun and Glue sticks

My Hit the Target Board

Hit the Target Rules:

- I set a certain amount of time for the class to play.
- Students answer a question around the room on their notebook paper and then come to me to check.
- They get a check on their paper if it’s right and they get to toss the ball onto the target. I give them 2 chances to hit the target.
- If they miss a question, they get a dot and get another chance to answer the same question.
- Wherever the ball attaches is the point amount they earn and this is recorded on the board.
- When the timer goes off, the student or group with the most points wins!

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I hope you have found something here to use in your classroom! Please comment with which game you have liked best and be sure to share pictures of your students playing these games!

–Teachers on the Block

Chelsea Criswell