3-2-1 Assessment: A Common Core Method for Assessment

One of the things that we try to steer away from when teaching using the common core method is to get away from wrote memorization, teachers answering questions for students and basic surface learning.

Assessment, or testing, usually takes the form (in my class) of an essay or a multiple choice exam.  I decided to try something to help students review for a test but at the same time provide instant feedback from students as to their understanding of the material.

3-2-1 Assessment: (after discussing a topic or subject)

1.  On separate sticky notes, each student writes (1) one question they still have, (2) two things they do not understand and (3) three things they have learned.

2.  When finished, students affix the sticky notes to a bulletin board, poster or piece of chart paper divided into three columns labeled “3”, “2” and “1”.

3.  Student’s notes can then be reviewed to construct a picture of a classes understanding and identify areas of reteaching.

This method takes moments and it gives the teacher near instant feedback as to student understanding.

Another way you can use this, if your school allows the use of cell phones for classroom work (and if they haven’t, you are in a museum and you are the curator of the museum), is to set up an internet poll where students can text their answers and then watch the bars raise or lower.

The best internet polling site that is totally free is www.polleverywhere.com.  All you have to do is create a free poll using their easy to use instructions.  Ask a question such as how well did you understand (insert random concept here)?  Give them three answers such as “fully understand”, “understand somewhat” and “totally don’t get it.”  Your students then text a number to another number on the screen and get an instant poll result.

Try this once and you will not go back to the old way of doing things.  It is loads of fun and makes your students feel like their voices are being heard.

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

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