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April 4, 2018

Using Formative Assessments Across the Curriculum

By Meghan Everette
Grades 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    I love teaching cross-curricular concepts, which is good because there are far too many things to teach and not enough time to attack it all! Science and social studies often fall by the wayside in favor of class time dedicated to reading, writing, and arithmetic, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

    Quick, formative assessments are checkpoints of student progress that happen as students are learning, and that give teachers an idea of how to tailor their instruction. Formative assessments don’t have to be written, but responding to text and responding in writing help hit two major English Language Arts standards while pairing with science and social studies content.

    Scholastic’s 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom provides practical implementation tips for formative assessments while making differentiation easy. Pair their ready-to-use, pre-differentiated assessments with lesson plans that link to standards for a variety of grade levels and you are set to tackle any topic. The book provides a link to download PDF and Word documents along with digital samples. Throughout the text are tech-integration ideas for all levels of learners. Ready-made lessons that link standards and have easy-to-implement differentiation and technology tie-ins? Yes, please! Here are three ideas to get you started:

     

        

    The Water Cycle

    The Lessons:
    Follow the Water Cycle, recommended for grades PK–2
    StudyJams! The Water Cycle Teaching Guide, recommended for grades 3–5

     

    Formative Assessment:
    TimeOut! template for intermediate, secondary, and ELL students from 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    Either lesson will have students examining evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as parts of the water cycle. Follow the Water Cycle suggests using a book from the Water Cycle Book List to learn about how and why it rains with three days of lessons that incorporate hands-on learning. Add the TimeOut! template as a QuickWrite to stop and reflect on their learning during each lesson. Students can respond during the reading or after each day’s activities to record their learning. Teachers might model reflective writing for very young students. StudyJams! features an online video resource to help illustrate the water cycle. Use the same TimeOut! template to pause and respond during the video for students to record their learning. Give students needing more support the intermediate or ELL template, while advanced students can use the secondary template.

     

    Immigration

    The Lessons:

    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades K–2
    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades 3–5
    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades 6–8

     

    Formative Assessment: Noting What I’ve Learned template from 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    Each set of lessons is age-appropriate and helps students explore different aspects of the online, interactive Stories of Yesterday and Today. Students recognize the unique contribution of immigrants (Grades K–2), analyze different immigrant experiences (Grades 3–5), and research the effects of immigration on American culture and history (Grades 6–8). Use the Noting What I’ve Learned note-taking strategy while completing lessons to help students keep track of their learning. The note taker is a simple adaptation of formal Cornell Notes, with room for main ideas and notes. Younger students can draw their idea, while older students can use key words. Support ELL learners by providing key words or questions for them. Looking for tech? Have students create a voiceover to presentation slides showing what they learned. Screencastify, Explain Everything, or ShowMe are all options listed in 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition.

     

    The Human Body

    The Lessons:
    The Human Body Project, Unit for Grades 3–5

    Formative Assessment: Find Someone Who… Review template from  25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    The Human Body Project has hands-on projects, research, reports, and presentations that span 3–5 weeks to teach. The first lesson plan, lasting a week, focuses on hands-on body systems and how systems interact. The second lesson plan, which can take up to three weeks, is an interactive “medical residency” where students conduct research on a specific body system. This culminates in the third lesson plan, the Human Body Project Residency, where students use their knowledge to work with health specialists. Because this learning takes place over weeks, reviewing all the content and systems can be tough. Throughout, students become “experts” on their assigned system.

    The Find Someone Who…. Review template has a place for a question or prompt, such as “Find Someone Who… can explain the liver’s function.” The teacher puts all the questions and prompts in each of the nine available boxes. Students move about the room and find another student who can explain the information, which they record in each corresponding box. Students can use this same format throughout their learning, creating a page on each of the body’s systems, or as a review at the end of their learning, to make sure they capture the big ideas they need to master. When students are unable to find someone that can supply the needed information, it is a good signal to the teacher the concept needs to be retaught.

     

    Formative assessments are a great way to reflect on learning throughout the learning process. They give teachers a good idea of what students already know and how they are progressing in their understanding. They also tie neatly to a variety of interactive and tech-infused response options. Pair formative assessment with science and social studies to connect learning to English Language Arts standards. Use easy, aligned lessons that already exist and you’ve saved yourself time without sacrificing quality teaching!

    I love teaching cross-curricular concepts, which is good because there are far too many things to teach and not enough time to attack it all! Science and social studies often fall by the wayside in favor of class time dedicated to reading, writing, and arithmetic, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

    Quick, formative assessments are checkpoints of student progress that happen as students are learning, and that give teachers an idea of how to tailor their instruction. Formative assessments don’t have to be written, but responding to text and responding in writing help hit two major English Language Arts standards while pairing with science and social studies content.

    Scholastic’s 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom provides practical implementation tips for formative assessments while making differentiation easy. Pair their ready-to-use, pre-differentiated assessments with lesson plans that link to standards for a variety of grade levels and you are set to tackle any topic. The book provides a link to download PDF and Word documents along with digital samples. Throughout the text are tech-integration ideas for all levels of learners. Ready-made lessons that link standards and have easy-to-implement differentiation and technology tie-ins? Yes, please! Here are three ideas to get you started:

     

        

    The Water Cycle

    The Lessons:
    Follow the Water Cycle, recommended for grades PK–2
    StudyJams! The Water Cycle Teaching Guide, recommended for grades 3–5

     

    Formative Assessment:
    TimeOut! template for intermediate, secondary, and ELL students from 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    Either lesson will have students examining evaporation, condensation, and precipitation as parts of the water cycle. Follow the Water Cycle suggests using a book from the Water Cycle Book List to learn about how and why it rains with three days of lessons that incorporate hands-on learning. Add the TimeOut! template as a QuickWrite to stop and reflect on their learning during each lesson. Students can respond during the reading or after each day’s activities to record their learning. Teachers might model reflective writing for very young students. StudyJams! features an online video resource to help illustrate the water cycle. Use the same TimeOut! template to pause and respond during the video for students to record their learning. Give students needing more support the intermediate or ELL template, while advanced students can use the secondary template.

     

    Immigration

    The Lessons:

    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades K–2
    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades 3–5
    Immigration Lesson Plan for Grades 6–8

     

    Formative Assessment: Noting What I’ve Learned template from 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    Each set of lessons is age-appropriate and helps students explore different aspects of the online, interactive Stories of Yesterday and Today. Students recognize the unique contribution of immigrants (Grades K–2), analyze different immigrant experiences (Grades 3–5), and research the effects of immigration on American culture and history (Grades 6–8). Use the Noting What I’ve Learned note-taking strategy while completing lessons to help students keep track of their learning. The note taker is a simple adaptation of formal Cornell Notes, with room for main ideas and notes. Younger students can draw their idea, while older students can use key words. Support ELL learners by providing key words or questions for them. Looking for tech? Have students create a voiceover to presentation slides showing what they learned. Screencastify, Explain Everything, or ShowMe are all options listed in 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition.

     

    The Human Body

    The Lessons:
    The Human Body Project, Unit for Grades 3–5

    Formative Assessment: Find Someone Who… Review template from  25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, 2nd Edition

    Teaching:
    The Human Body Project has hands-on projects, research, reports, and presentations that span 3–5 weeks to teach. The first lesson plan, lasting a week, focuses on hands-on body systems and how systems interact. The second lesson plan, which can take up to three weeks, is an interactive “medical residency” where students conduct research on a specific body system. This culminates in the third lesson plan, the Human Body Project Residency, where students use their knowledge to work with health specialists. Because this learning takes place over weeks, reviewing all the content and systems can be tough. Throughout, students become “experts” on their assigned system.

    The Find Someone Who…. Review template has a place for a question or prompt, such as “Find Someone Who… can explain the liver’s function.” The teacher puts all the questions and prompts in each of the nine available boxes. Students move about the room and find another student who can explain the information, which they record in each corresponding box. Students can use this same format throughout their learning, creating a page on each of the body’s systems, or as a review at the end of their learning, to make sure they capture the big ideas they need to master. When students are unable to find someone that can supply the needed information, it is a good signal to the teacher the concept needs to be retaught.

     

    Formative assessments are a great way to reflect on learning throughout the learning process. They give teachers a good idea of what students already know and how they are progressing in their understanding. They also tie neatly to a variety of interactive and tech-infused response options. Pair formative assessment with science and social studies to connect learning to English Language Arts standards. Use easy, aligned lessons that already exist and you’ve saved yourself time without sacrificing quality teaching!

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