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A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques;

A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques;
Informal assessments allow teachers to track the ongoing progress of their students
regularly and often. These assessments are designed to determine whether students
are learning what is being taught, for the purpose of adjusting instruction. By using
informal assessments, teachers can target students’ specific problem areas, adapt
instruction, and intervene earlier rather than later. Provided below is a description of
the A-Z list of informal assessment techniques.
Anecdotal Records
Anecdotal Records represent informal written descriptions of a student’s academic
progress in the classroom involving a specific problem or area of difficulty. The
record is a result of a direct observation. Anecdotal records can be used to
document student achievement in mathematics. Be careful – anecdotal records
should be written carefully, avoiding judgmental words.
Application Cards
After teaching about an important theory, principle, or procedure, ask students to
write down at least one real-world application for what they have just learned to
determine how well they can transfer their learning.
A Blog is short for weblog and represents an online journal that is frequently updated
by the students based on the current content or problem under investigation. Blogs
are typically updated daily and require little or no technical background to update
and maintain the blog. Blogs can be used by students to create their own online
math journal.
Brai nstorming
Brainstorming is a technique used to determine what a student may already know
about a particular topic. Students often feel free to participate because there is no
criticism or judgment.
Chai n Notes
Students pass around an envelope on which the teacher has written one question
about the class. When the envelope reaches a student he/she spends a moment to
respond to the question and then places the response in the envelope.
Checklists (e.g., Misconception/Preconception Checklist) specify student behavior
or products expected during daily progression through the curriculum. The items on
the checklist may be behavior or content area objectives. A checklist is considered
to be a type of observational technique. Because observers check only the presence
or absence of the product or behavior, checklists generally are reliable and relatively
easy to use. Used over time, checklists can document students’ rate and degree of
accomplishment within the math curriculum.
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques
Deba tes
Debates enable the teacher to informally evaluate students’ oral work by assessing
their oral presentation skills in terms of their ability to understand concepts and
present them to others in an orderly fashion.
Directed Paraphrasing
Ask students to write a layman’s “translation” of something they have just learned –
– geared to a specified individual or audience — to assess their ability to comprehend
and transfer concepts.
Exit Cards
Exit Cards are a quick assessment tool for teachers to help them become more
aware of student understanding of concepts taught. Exit cards are written student
responses to questions posed at the end of a class or learning activity, or at the end
of a day. They may be used at any grade level and every subject area.
Follow-up Questioning
Quality follow-up questions generated by either a teacher or student from an
observation, comment, or prior question extend beyond simple rote memorization
such as What is…? or Where did…? by encompassing the higher levels of Bloom’s
Gallery Walk
In small groups students move around the room from station to station at set times
and discuss questions or problems raised during class. For example, a math
teacher could post 3-5 questions about a particular math problem on separate
sheets of paper taped as stations on the wall. Groups of students would pause at
each station, discuss the question, write comments on the sheet, and then go to the
next question when a signal is given.
Graphic Organiz ers
Graphic Organizers or concept maps provide students with a visual representation
that supports their understanding of simple or complex processes. Sample graphic
organizers include: T-charts, Venn diagrams, and KWL charts. Graphic organizers
can be used to assess students’ understanding of relationships, ideas, or concepts.
Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning
Guided Reciprocal Peer Questioning enables students to develop questions about
new material or recognize what they don’t know. Students are given open-ended
questions (e.g. “explain how…”, “what if…?”, “how does ____ affect ____?”) that they
ask each other.
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
Hand Signals
Hand signals range from students raising their hands to respond to a question
posed by the teacher to a group “thumbs up/down” signal to determine students
“acknowledged” understanding of a concept or process.
Perform either a structured or unstructured interview with one or more students to
ascertain their understanding of a particular concept or process.
Journals – Learning/Reflection
Reflection or Learning Journals enable students to reflect on the learning going on
within the classroom. Daily journals provide students with a daily conversation with
themselves allowing them to reflect on key concepts or ideas raised during class.
KWL Chart
A KWL Chart is one type of graphic organizer that allows students to determine
“What they know about a specific topic,” “What they want to know/learn about a
specific topic,” and “What they learned from the lesson.” This method is used to
gauge students’ understanding of a particular concept or process.
Learning Logs
Learning Logs provide opportunities to gauge student progress. A learning log
represents a student’s ongoing commentary relating to a particular course of study.
Entries are made frequently and are dated.
Minute Paper
The Minute Paper is an informal assessment technique that asks students a simple
question about some aspect of the class that they can answer in a minute. The
responses are then collected by the teacher on 3×5 cards, reviewed, and distributed
back to the students with comments or other interesting points.
Muddiest Point
The Muddiest Point is an informal assessment strategy used to help the teacher
identify a lesson’s most confusing points. Students are asked to write down the
most confusing or problematic concept from a given lesson via a 3×5 card or email
message to the teacher. The teacher, in turn, collects the “muddiest points” from
the students and then addresses these issues more completely during a follow-up
lesson to improve students’ understanding.
“No Hands Up”
A “No Hands Up” rule gives the whole class thinking time to prepare a response,
before the teacher chooses a student. Another approach is allowing hands up only
when a student has a question of his/her own.
A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
Open-ended Questions
Open-ended Questions resist a simple or single right answer; are deliberately
thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and/or controversial; require students to draw
upon content knowledge and personal experience; and address the highest level of
Bloom’s Taxonomy (Evaluation).
One-sentence Summary
This simple technique challenges students to answer the questions “Who does what
to whom, when, where, how, and why?” (represented by the letters WDWWWWHW)
about a given topic, and then to synthesize those answers into a simple informative,
grammatical, and long summary sentence.
Pai rs Check
Pairs Check is a technique in which teams of 4 work in pairs on a problem. One
student works on the problem while a second student coaches and then these
students switch roles. In the next step, each pair checks their work by checking with
the other pair.
Performance Task
A Performance Task is a learning event that allows for multiple solutions, relates
to the student’s prior knowledge, has personal meaning, and is challenging.
Performance tasks are used to determine what students know and what they are
able to do relating to the eligible content.
Quick Write
A Quick Write is an informal assessment tool requiring students to write for a short
time (less than 10 minutes), focusing on content, not grammar.
Roving Reporter
A Roving Reporter is a member of a team who roams around the room seeking ideas
and help from other groups.
RSQC 2 (Recall, Summariz e, Question, Comment and Connect)
RSQC2 is a classroom assessment technique in which students are asked to recall
and review information presented in prior lessons. Students are asked to write
down a few of the main points from a previous lesson (recall) and then bring those
separate ideas together into a single summary statement (summarize). Students
then generate one yet unanswered question (question) they have from the previous
lesson and then provide connection from the concepts in that lesson to the overall
goals for the course (connect). Student can also be asked for comments they may
have regarding their understanding of the concepts.
A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
A Rubric provides written guidelines by which student work is assessed. Grading
rubrics articulate clearly how student work is judged and give standards needed to
achieve each grade. Rubrics are useful for both students (what is expected on them
is clearly articulated) and staff (makes grading easier and less subjective).
Short Quizz es
Short Quizzes are usually one to three questions and may be in the form of short
answer, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or open-ended. Short quizzes are used
informally to gauge what students have learned about the content.
Student-generated Test Questions
Student-generated test questions allow students to write test questions and model
answers for specified topics in a format consistent with course exams. This approach
gives students the opportunity to evaluate the course topics, reflect on what they
understand, and determine good potential test items.
Surveys/Rating Scales
Surveys and Rating Scales provide an easy-to-use format to acquire information
about students’ understanding of important content. Online surveys, in particular,
give students an opportunity to express their understanding of a concept or process
without any potential embarrassment issues. Results from all students are tabulated
online and aggregated into a class graph or data table.
Traffic Light Cards
Every student has a red, yellow and green card. If a student shows their yellow card,
it means the teacher is going too fast. If they want to stop and ask a question, they
show red. The teacher can then choose a child showing green or yellow to answer.
Think-Pai r-Share
Think-Pair-Share involves students thinking about a question, pairing off and
discussing the question with a classmate, and then sharing their answers with the
whole class.
Think-Pai r-Square
Think-Pair-Square is the same as Think-Pair-Share except that students share their
answers with another pair.
This is a very useful technique for any size class. With this approach, staff give
their students a problem to work on (e.g., figures or tables to interpret, a written
question) and simply ask them to “turn to their neighbors” in the class and discuss
the problem. Students should work in small groups of 3-4.
A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
Umpire is a technique whereby one student responds to a teacher question, then
the teacher immediately looks down the row of chairs or tables and points to another
student or group of students to determine if they agree with the initial student’s
response (e.g., “Do you agree with Tim’s definition of circumference?”, “Is his answer
correct?”, or “What do you think?”
Videos of Student Portfolio Conferences
Using Video to document student products is a convenient way to determine what
students have accomplished and what they know relative to the content standards.
A wiki is a website or similar online resource which allows users to add and edit
content collectively.
Write Before Discussion
Write Before Discussion is an approach used to enhance a discussion with “low
stakes” writing. Students are asked a question and given a few minutes to briefly
write answers or comments. What they write is for their use only and not handed in
to the teacher. Students need to understand why this is useful for the discussion and
can help them write better (otherwise they may not take the exercise seriously).
X Games
X Games is a spin-off of the extreme sports version whereby students are given
“extreme” math problems to solve working in teams of four. The games can be held
quarterly and broken into seasons based on the current math benchmark.
Y Graphic Organiz er
A Y Graphic Organizer is a three-part chart embedded in a pie chart. In other words,
the pie chart is divided into three sections forming the letter, Y. A student can use a
Y-Chart to help organize what they know about a topic by writing and/or drawing what
the topic looks like, feels like, and sounds like. The student must think about a topic
with respect to three of their senses, sight, hearing, and touch.
Z Chart
Z Charts show student progress over time and can result in many different charts
to show various viewpoints. A Z-chart can reduce at least three different line charts
into one simple line chart. When reviewing progress of their performance in class,
students will want to look at :
• In the short term, I want to know ‘How did I do this month (/week/etc.)?’.
• In the longer term, the rate of academic growth or decline may be of significant
• In the intermediate term, it is interesting to connect these two, to see how shortterm
achievement is building up to longer-term goals.
A-Z Informal Assessment Techniques
LoTi: Bringing t © 2008 LoTi Connection, Inc. he Heat to Education
Instructor:        Tricia C Welch
Course Title: Cosmetology
Lesson Title: 45-Degree Haircut
Number of Sessions:1
Time Allotment for each lesson: 3 hours
Setting:Distance Learning
Instructional Level:Freshman
In this lesson the student will learn to include fundamentals and principles of hair design to enhance facial shapes. They will also be able to speak about hairstyles and facial structure to provide the best hairstyles for males and females.
The student will be able to:
.  Complete all sanitation procedures for a haircut
.  Define terms associated with the lesson
.  Demonstrate proper handling of tools
.  Demonstrate the mastery of the graduated, 45-degree haircut on the head
.  Pass the state board exams
Materials/Resources Needed
Teacher: Milady StandardText Book of Cosmetology and DVD series
45-degree Haircut Power Point Presentation/slides
Live demonstration via Skype using desk computer or laptop with Internet access
Student: Mannequin & stand
Sectioning Clips
Comb Kit
Scissor Kit
Cutting cape
Access to the Internet
Anticipatory Set
Duration: 15 minutes
Activity: A haircut is one of the procedures that a student must demonstrate when they take the state board exam. Once you have mastered this technique it will not only help you to be successful at state board, but it will give you the experience to choose which haircut is best suited for your clients texture of hair and face structure. A thorough knowledge of the different types of haircut for specific texture of hair is paramount. How many of you have ever had your haircut? Which of you can describe the experience?
Duration: 15 minutes
Now that you have mastered the 0-degree haircut, let’s move onto another cut, the 45-degrees. This haircut provides layers around the bottom and is used frequently on longer hair. This haircut also requires the use of both 0-degree and 45-degree. Remember, all haircuts begin with a 0-degree to establish the guideline.
Duration: 1 hour
PPT slides is use while demonstrating each step for students. Head form handout is given to each student for personal note taking.
.  Remind students of proper method for holding the implements
A.    Holding the shears
B.    Holding the comb
C.    Rotating comb while holding shears
.  Demonstrate the 45-degree angle on the mannequin head
.  Remind students of proper parting and correct clamping
A.    Demonstrate vertical sectioning in standard 4 sections
B.    Point out the head angle must be perpendicular to the floor
C.    Demonstrate how to secure each section with clamps without ends sticking out
.  Demonstrate sub-sectioning
A.    Demonstrate 1” perimeter parting from above the ears around the head
B.    Do not establish a perimeter guideline in the bang area, as the state exam requires no bang
.  Demonstrate ½” vertical partings from perimeter
A.    Remind students to always cut UP fro the perimeter at a 45-degree
.  Demonstrate checking the haircut
A.    Remind students to check using the opposite method of cutting
B.    Remind students to bring hair forward to check bangs for balance
.  Remind students of sanitation upon completion of haircut
A.    Explain when hair should be swept
B.    Describe where to deposit hair after being swept up
Duration: 1 hour
Grouping: Individual
Activity Description:
1.    Student must wash hands with soap and water
2.    Drape client
3.    Section hair into a minimum of four sections for control
4.    Establish a guideline and use for a uniform well-blended haircut
5.    Complete 45-degree haircut with scissors
6.    Clean up hair from the floor
7.    Wash hands with soap and water
8.    Undrape Client
9.    Clean up
Duration: 30 minutes
Objective: Define terms associated with the lesson
Demonstrate proper handling of tools
Demonstrate the mastery of the graduated, 45-degree haircut on the
Types of Assessments: Written Quiz, Demonstration
Description: Student would be given 10 points for each procedure that was
performed accurately.
Student reflection activity: Create a pictorial book with step-by-step procedure for
the different types of haircuts. (50 points)
Outside Classroom
Teacher notes: Student will cut their mannequin using the demonstration, PPT and handout notes for guidelines. The instructor will reteach as necessary.
Activities:  Students will practice cutting 45-degree haircut on their mannequins independently or on a family member or friend.

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