So, I’ve been thinking about what do on the day before spring break when there will be a few too many people absent to do something new and a few too many people present to just do fluff all day. I planned my formal assessments for the day before the last day since I actually needed everyone to do them.
First, the background:
- We have been studying Ancient China.
- I gave a map quiz, but needed to assess student knowledge on dynasties etc.
- I really didn’t want to give a standard test.
Here’s what I thought about as I planned:
- This blog post by Hadley Ferguson about how a colleague of hers combines physical activity and coursework.
- If we’ve been doing group work maybe I should try group assessment.
- I wonder what my kids would like to do?
- I talked with my class about the fact that I needed to know what they had learned.
- I posted on our class blog asking for suggestions of games or activities we could play.
- We reviewed the many helpful blog comments and had more discussion in class.
- I settled on 3 games (a version of “The Amazing Race,” memory, and a version of Capture the Flag)
- I spend a ton of time making the games, the answer sheets, laminating, color coding, etc.
- I make charts to record “data” as the games progressed.
- Let the games begin
- I overheard more than 1 student say “I studied so much.”
- I also overheard someone say, “I forgot my notes so I read over the whole chapter. It took me forever.”
- All of the above was said with smiles and excitement.
- I am NOT kidding.
- Students had a great time running around looking for clues and answering questions in “The Amazing Race.”
- They strategized and made secret signals to get information to team members in the dynasty memory game.
- They huddled to perfect their explanations for the tough questions in “Capture the Dynasty.”
- I got plenty of information about who knew what.
- We all went home happy.