Thursday, August 19, 2010

Formative Assessment Activities (Serial): Tear and Share

This is the third of several posts dedicated to formative assessment activities that you could use in your classroom. Today's activity comes, once again, from Robin Fogarty and Brian M. Pete, presenters both on (In)Formative Assessment. Fogarty and Pete use ideas based on Spencer Kagen's cooperative learning structures.

One note before I share the strategy. Fogarty and Pete mentioned that the expectation of complete sentences should be in play here. Students will write an answer, but make sure it has their reasoning behind it. Example: I think this strategy is wonderful, because it makes students collaborate, and has students think on a high level.

Tear and Share
This strategy is a Bloom's goldmine. With this strategy students will have a chance to: remember, understand, analyze, evaluate, and create. Students work in teams of four to answer four questions about an article they read, a chapter from a novel, or a video they just watched (or whatever you want to assess). After careful analysis of their teammate's work, students will come up with a summary of each question to share with the class. 
Here's how it works.
You'll Need:
  • To generate ahead of time four questions (or let the class create four questions after experiencing the learning)
  • A journal page or piece of paper for each student*
  • Some way to archive their final synthesized answers
  • Scissors are optional
 * Technology integration idea: allow students to collaborate on a Google document.

What to Do:
  1. Students get into groups of four, and count off 1-2-3-4. (Find nifty ways getting students in groups here, here, and here).
  2. Students experience the information (article, chapter, video, etc.).*
  3. Student should write down the questions leaving enough room for their answers.
  4. Students respond to the four questions by quick writing on a sheet of paper. (For your overzealous writers, make sure they are careful about using the back of the paper because they will be tearing this into four sections soon).
  5. When a student is finished writing his/her answers, he/she will carefully tear or cut (the noise of tearing encourages other group members to finish up) the whole sheet into the four questions and their answers.
  6. When all students are finished they hand their answers to each other. Number ones get the first question, number twos get the second question, and so on.
  7. After collecting their teammate's answers, the students read and synthesize  each of their teammate's entries into one cohesive summary.
  8. Once each group is done, they share their summaries with the whole class.
  9. The whole class can work together to create the best answers to each question based on what each group reported. Suggestion: Distribute created answers as part of a study guide.
*You could also let students see the questions before experiencing the information.

Imagine that the students just read an article on the 19th Amendment.
Question 1: If Susan B. Anthony survived to see the 19th Amendment passed, what would she say was the biggest factor in granting women the right to vote?
Example answers from the four group members:
1. I think she would say that all of the marching was the reason because they made people take notice.
2. Susan B. Anthony would say that picketing in front of the White House was the biggest factor because it forced the president and congressmen think about giving women the right to vote.
3. Ms. Anthony would be proud to say that peaceful protests were the key because they would not be ignored.
4. Susan B. Anthony would say Harry Burr's mother's note was the biggest reason why they passed the amendment.

Possible synthesis of the four answers:
We think Susan B. Anthony would say that all of their hard work picketing, marching, and peacefully protesting for their rights were the keys to winning the right to vote. 
*Notice I didn't put in my summary the answer about Harry Burr's mother, because during my reading I thought that Burr's mother must have been moved to write the letter because of the work the suffragettes were doing.
This can be a very powerful activity for your students. Enjoy!


Sara said...

I love Kagan stuff. I don't remember this one though; I'll have to pull it out this year! I think I'm going to have my older students make demonstration videos for my younger bunch this year using flip and animoto. Have you seen animoto? They do have an educator's account!

Mr. Kornoely said...

Animoto rocks! I'm positive your students will have a great time making those videos.