Formative Assessment

10 Fun-Filled Formative Assessment Ideas

September 14, 2015

Formative assessment: you've heard about it, you've read the research, and you've probably tried it out in your classroom. 

Whether you're a formative assessment newbie or a veteran, these techniques can help spice up how you check for understanding in the classroom. They range from the classics, like exit slips, to ideas you may have never thought to try.

This post was inspired by Todd Finley’s big, printable list, "53 Ways To Check For Understanding".


Intrigue Journal: List the five most interesting, controversial, or resonant ideas you found in the readings. Include page numbers and a short rationale (100 words) for your selection


Twitter Post: Define the content in 140 characters


Advertisement: Create an ad, with visuals and text, for the newly learned concept


Summary Poem Activity: List 10 key words from an assigned text; do a free verse poem with the words you highlighted; write a summary of the reading based on these words


Compare and Contrast: Identify the theory or idea the author is advancing. Then identify an opposite theory. What are the similarities and differences between these ideas?


Opinion Chart: List opinions about the content in one half of a T-chart, and support your opinions in the right column


Bio Poem: Line 1) 3 adjectives that describe the person; Line 2) 1 important relationship this person has; Line 3) 2 things that the person loves; Line 4) 3 fears the person experiences; Line 5) 2 things the person wants to experience


Exit Slip: Have students reflect on lessons learned during class


Misconception Check: Given a common misconception about a topic, students explain why they agree or disagree with it


Top Ten List: What are the most important takeaways, written with humor?

This piece was originally submitted to our community forums by a reader. Due to audience interest, we’ve preserved it. The opinions expressed here are the writer’s own.

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