5 Formative Assessments for STEM

Here are five example of formative assessments that could be used in STEM:

  1. Exit Ticket: This is one I see all the time as a sub. Students have to fill out a small paper before they can leave the classroom to go to recess, lunch or home for the day. My favorite exit tickets have been 3-2-1 formatted: 3 things I learned today, 2 things I found interesting and 1 thing I have a question about, this format would great it science. I think for math having 1-3 problems matching the lesson of the day would be ideal.
  2. Kahoot: Create a Kahoot game to play, with student’s logged in, which can be used before a lesson to check for prior knowledge or after a lesson to check for understanding. The students I have played Kahoot with *LOVE* this game, elementary students have rarely seen it as any type of assessment but it gives immediate feedback for the whole class and tracks individual responses. This works great with Science, Math big ideas could work but actual problems would kill the mood for this game in my opinion. There are other options that look different, less gamified, but work essentially the same like Socrative teacher, Poll Anywhere, or Google Docs which I would likely use as well to give student’s the feel of variety some may have a more quiz like feeling than Kahoot.
  3. Doodle It: Have students draw their answers to a prompt instead of writing. This alleviates some of the pressure from kids who have a hard time figure out the “right” words. This is really useful for lower elementary and ELL students but can be used at any grade level. It works fabulous for Science but would also work well to have students draw out a visual representation of a math problem to show understanding.
  4. Whiteboards: Students use personal white boards during class discussions. The teacher asks a question or even writes a question out and students record their answer on their personal whiteboard. They flip and show their answers all at the same time to the teacher, this removes the stress of an individual answer in front of the whole class while allowing the teacher to see each student’s response. Moreover, if you include a signal that they are done, the teacher can track how long student’s take to generate the answer. This could be used for Science or Math concepts or problem-solving.
  5. Graphic Organizers: I love these for Science or Math investigations. One style I find simple but effective is the KWL chart (what I KNOW, what I WANT to know, what I LEARNED). ‘K’ is a help formative assessment of student’s prior knowledge, ‘W’ is a good formative assessment to create after an introductory lesson to see what caught their attention, ‘L’ is a great formative assessment to see what they learned from a lesson.