Robin Fogarty and Brian M. Pete presented (In)formative Assessment at the 2010 Wildly Exciting conference I attended earlier this August at Grand Valley State University. They were very entertaining and informative. If you get the chance to see them, do so. You won't regret it.
They had wonderful ideas and activities that they shared. I want to share them with you.
Two notes before I begin. Fogarty and Pete maintain that to get the most out of these activities, based on Spencer Kagen's cooperative learning structures (see below for video), students should move from activity to engagement to involvement. That is to say, students should begin with the activity; which leads to engagement with peers; which leads to involvement with the learning.
The second note is a quote from Brian Pete who said, "The learner is the one doing the talking." In essence, create more rich talk opportunities for your students.
Imagine you've just taught something to the class, and you want to see if they are getting it.
This activity is a way to get your students up and moving. "I don’t want the blood to be in your feet or your seat, but in your brain so you can maintain."
Students get up walk around and put their hands in the air and “high five”. When three students high five each other at the same time they become a group. Three students per grouping is ideal. Adjust as needed. Once the groupings are established, determine who goes first by having them discover something about each other (birthdays, pets, lives closest to school etc.) For example: The student with a birthday closest to today, either past or future, will go first.
Each musketeer will share with the small group what information they recall (sharing with each other). Then have the small groups report whole group.
Q: But what if the next group that goes says, "That's what I was going to say."
A: Ask them to either paraphrase, repeat, or add to what was just said.
Small group discussion with application of the information. Before you have your students return to their seats ask them this, "With whom would you share this information you just learned?
This encourages students to self-reflect and conceptualize an audience other than themselves for this information. They will take ownership of the learning.
Try it out!