8 Great Tools for Formative Assessment


Formative assessments are the quick day-to-day methods that we use to see how her students are progressing in a given subject. While these tests could be the good old-fashioned pop-quiz, we have many ways and tools to make it more fun, interesting, and useful. This is a collection of some of my favorite tools that I use on a regular basis to track students progress.

1- Kahoot www.getkahoot.com

Kahoot makes the top of my list, because recently my students have been having a great time with this website. It takes the model of the traditional multiple-choice quiz, but it makes it into a game where students compete against each other to get the most points. It is fun and interactive. The site also has other options that facilitate class discussion on a given topic.

2- Sesame HQ https://sesamehq.com

Sesame HQ is a great way to keep track of what students are doing on a day-to-day basis. It has many options including built-in quizzing, writing options, and photographing student work. It collects all this work and creates something like a blog for each student that you can share with parents. It is essentially a digital portfolio for your student.

3- Edmodo Snapshot www.edmodo.com

Edmodo Snapshot is a bank of common core questions in math and language arts that can easily be assigned to students. It only takes a few minutes to assign a quiz, and the quizzes generally take students only about five minutes to complete. It is a very fast and efficient way to see how well your students understand the specific concept in the common core.

4- Socrative 

Socrative is very similar to Kahoot in that it is the instant feedback tool to class instruction. There are however some differences in management, and an assessment creation. It can be very powerful in pulling the class as you teach, and has some unique question and response types that make it a powerful tool.

5- NearPod www.nearpod.com

Nearpod is a tool that allows you to take your PowerPoint presentation including embedded videos, and put it on each student's device, no matter what that might be. You can also add embedded questions throughout the presentation. The presentation can be controlled by the teacher, or be turned to homework mode where students control the pace of the slides. One of the great advantages to this site, is the huge collection of presentations that are already uploaded and ready to use. Many of the presentations are professionally created, and very good, but they do cost a few dollars. This is a fast efficient way to get instant feedback on how students are learning a specific subject.

6- Plickers www.plickers.com

If you don't have a computer or device for every child, but you still want instant feedback on how students are doing, Plickers are an amazing tool to give quizzes to your class. With clickers you print out cards for each of your students, then you asked the class multiple-choice questions. Students hold up their cards with their choice of answers facing up, then using the app on your phone you scan the class using the camera, and it reads and records their answers.

While I love to use many of the high-tech tools available to me, there are many low-tech ways to assess student progress. I personally use a combination of high-tech and low-tech options in formative assessment.

7- Exit Tickets

Exit tickets can be a 3 x 5 card, or a Post-it note, that students answer a single question before leaving to a recess, activity, or school. By limiting it to one question students can answer quickly, and I can assess very quickly who is getting and who is not.

8- Mini whiteboards

Mini whiteboards are going great way for students to write the responses to a variety of questions. Students can solve problems, answer questions, or draw a picture. They then hold up the whiteboard and you can see instantly who is understanding the concept.