TQE

A Unique Twist on Formative Assessment: “Give Me All You Got!”

At the end of November, I stumbled upon this great idea from English teacher Kelly Culp:

The basic premise is that students do a “brain dump” of sorts about a specific reading and share everything they know about it with you through text and images.   I decided to utilize this strategize to do a formative assessment with student independent reading about 10 days ago after giving students a day of reading time in class.  Here is my version (you can make a copy of the Word document):

Students jumped in and began working hard on the task right away:

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Below are some of the finished products:

As you can see, many students were creative in how they shared their understandings and what information they felt was most important as well as questions, connections, and ideas they were thinking about related to the text.  Several also incorporated their TQE thinking from their TQE annotations the previous day.  What I love about this form of assessment is the variety of responses and the built in choice factor for the assessment.  It can also be used with a wide range of tasks, including an assigned reading.  You can also adapt and use this across multiple grades in middle and high school; I think it would also be adaptable for upper elementary.  In addition, I think teachers and librarians could even modify this to assess students’ understanding of an article they are reading for research.  I am indebted to teacher Kelly Culp for sharing this idea on Twitter and inspiring my classroom practice.

In addition to this task, students also had time to complete this activity as well.  Many students liked the “chunked” aspect of this learning task for their reading they completed in class December 5 and at home that evening.  I highly recommend this resource for assessing assigned or independent reading.

 

 

Annotating for Active Reading: Post-It Notes and File Folders

This fall my 8th graders have practiced Notice and Note annotation strategies as well as those from Cris Tovani.  I have not required my 8th graders to annotate their independent reading, but earlier this month, I felt annotating their reading for an in-class reading day would be beneficial for my students.  I also felt this might be a gentle way of starting to scaffold their annotating for TQE discussions that we’ll do in January 2020.   I created mini-versions of notes/handouts I had already given the students and condensed them to “marry” them to a TQE framework, integrating our existing annotation strategies as well as Beers and Probst’s “3 Big Questions.”  Here is the result:

You can make a copy of these handouts I created here:

Because I had lost my voice due to an upper respiratory infection, I had students engage in a quick partner reading of the instructions.  Pairs then summarized the instructions and what they needed to do during their independent reading time.  I then shared a completed model I did over Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes.

Students were asked to complete 6 annotations:  two “thoughts”, two “questions”, and two “epiphanies”.   I provided a basket of Post-It notes in varying colors, sizes, and styles at every table area for students to use.  In addition, I gave every student a file folder with his/her name on it to place their sticky notes.  When students finished annotating at the end of the period, they organized and placed their notes in the folder to turn in to me.  The folder system is something I am trying so that I can grade annotation work with Post-Its but not have to collect a zillion bulky composition books.  When the folders are returned to students, they get a scored rubric of their work and can transfer the Post-It notes to their course binder.

I found this to be an easy way to nudge students to read a little more actively but not overwhelm them with the act of annotating.  We’ll use this system of collecting and sharing annotations when we begin our literary nonfiction and memoir book clubs in January as well as with our independent reading next semester.  I feel like the folders (which I keep once the students remove their work) are a simple but easy to use vehicle for collecting and checking the annotation as a formative assessment.  You can make a copy of the rubric I created by clicking here.

How do you encourage active reading and annotating in a meaningful and manageable way?