Easy Student Assessments to Employ in Your Class Today

Posted by on January 31st, 2017

Over the years, assessments have become viewed as a negative aspect of the instructional process for various reasons. The trends of traditional student assessments included lengthy administration, grading and review times. They also provided insight that students may have missed the mark too late in the learning progression.

In other cases, assessments have not always provided an accurate reflection of student understanding. You can overcome the negativity associated with traditional assessments by employing new approaches within your classroom.


By using quick, easy methods you can gauge student understanding more frequently. As a result, you have real time data and can course correct as necessary to address any concerns. Here are 10 student assessments to employ in your class today:


1. Yes/No Chart. Make a t-chart for students to list specific details of what they do and do not understand about a given topic.


2.Dos and Don’ts. Let students identify a list of 3 dos and don’ts related to a concept.


3. Venn Diagram. Give students an opportunity to complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting a given topic.


4. Think-Pair-Share. Pose a question to students. Give them time to think about their answer and turn to a partner to discuss. Choose various people to share their discussion findings with the whole group.


5. Exit Ticket. Have students write down their responses to a question posed at the end of a lesson, activity or day. Read through the responses to see what adjustments should be made for the next encounter to raise student understanding.


6. Journal Entry. Provide a brief moment for students to jot down what they have learned in a journal. Review the journals for mastery.


7. Thumbs Up/Down. Stop periodically during the lesson and have students display a thumbs up or thumbs down regarding an understanding of concepts discussed. If you have all thumbs up, keep forging ahead with your lesson. If you receive several, or majority, thumbs down, stop and reexplain the concept. For a few thumbs down, make a note to connect with those students individually.


8. One Minute Essay. Set a 1-minute timer for students to write down all they have learned or know on a topic. Begin with a focused prompt or question.


9. 3-2-1. Using a 3-2-1 structure, allow students to share their knowledge and identify any gaps in learning. An example of this method:

  1. 3 key words
  2. 2 interesting ideas
  3. 1 question you still have


10. Three Minute Pause. Allow students three minutes to reflect on a topic or concept that has recently been introduced. They can make connections with prior knowledge and seek clarity using prompts such as:

  1. I became more aware of…
  2. I need more clarity on…
  3. I related to…
  4. I feel…

Assessments that can be completed in three minutes or less in place of traditional, lengthier methods allow you to control the frequency of feedback. Methods such as Thumbs Up/Down, Three Minute Pause and Think-Pair-Share can be done every day or every lesson. The immediate feedback should be used immediately to adjust lessons and make your instructional delivery more accurate.


Yes/No Charts and Venn Diagrams give students opportunities to visualize their knowledge and can be done individually or whole group. Other student assessments such as journal entries, exit tickets and one-minute essays provide additional writing practice while allowing teachers to obtain feedback in preparation for the next lesson.


Using a combination of these assessments allows you to gain timely insight into your students’ learning progress and thus strengthen your instruction and their concept mastery.

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