Educator and author Judith Dodge provides a variety of techniques for incorporating formative assessments into classroom practice and describes how this can assist in differentiating instruction.
The strategy begins with students working on their own. They then move around the classroom for a brief period of interaction and information gathering with classmates. The movement part of the activity usually takes no longer than three or four minutes, but it is just enough time to reenergize students and allow them to refocus their attention at the end of a lesson. Then, students head back to their seats where they individually elaborate upon what they've recorded, adding details to the main ideas they have gathered from their peers.
This animated learner enjoys the interaction that is encouraged as part of the Four More! activity.
The second part of the Four More! activity invites individual reflection on what they have learned while engaging with their peers.
Step by Step
- Tell students that it's time to summarize what they have been learning today. Give each student a Four More! template (PDF).
- Have all students write two key ideas (main ideas) that they recall from the lesson on the lines in the first two boxes.
- Now, have students move from their desks to circulate with peers. Tell them they must gather four more ideas, one additional idea from each of four different students to fill the remaining boxes. Explain that completing this idea-sharing part of the task is very important for their next activity and that they will have approximately three minutes to collect ideas from classmates. Encourage students to move around the room, and advise them to return to their seats as soon as they are done.
- When all students are seated again (or when you call "time" after about three minutes), ask students to elaborate individually on the main ideas by providing at least two details or descriptions next to the bullets for each key idea.
Use this strategy to review for a unit test or as a prewriting activity for an upcoming essay.
This Four More! summarizer was used after students were assigned a textbook reading on the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. After jotting down two key ideas of their own, students collaborated with peers to find Four More!, and returned to their seats to elaborate further on their own.