• Affinity Mapping

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Used to organize data and ideas, affinity maps provide groups the opportunity to move beyond static thinking and preconceived notions. This technique is ideal for complex issues, situations where there are seemingly too many facts and ideas, or when consensus is vital.

    Process: After a question is posed, learners will record each idea on a separate sticky note. Once the group has finished recording ideas, the sticky notes should be spread out at random on a surface visible to everyone. While not talking, everyone should look for patterns and start to physically categorize ideas based on similarities. The process should continue until all ideas belong to a category. Now, participants should talk and discuss categories and debrief the process. A few changes might be made during this phase.

    Possible Alternatives: Clustering

    Anchor Charts

    Learning Framework Connection: Learning Design
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Scaffolding

    Purpose: By connecting to past and future learning as well as serving as a reminder of learning, anchor charts provide a record of thinking about a text, lesson, or strategy in order to make the thinking of both the educator and the learners visible and concrete.

    Process: In building anchor charts, educators can work with learners to debrief or reinforce a specified skill modeled in a mini-lesson. Learners add ideas to an anchor chart as they apply new learning and develop strategies for problem solving. Learners will have ownership of the anchor charts if their ideas are included and educators will ensure that the information is relevant and authentic if ideas are added during a learning discussion. Learners should be encouraged to reference the charts when they have questions and educators should use the as a reminder of previous learning.

    Possible Alternatives: Learner-created posters, Topic Charts

    Carousel Writing

    Learning Framework Connection: Learning Design
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Scaffolding

    Purpose: Through writing and collaborating with others, the process of carousel writing allows for prior knowledge to be activated, providing scaffolding for new information to be learned or learned information to be reinforced.

    Process: In preparation, the educator should determine several questions or topics as prompts. When carousel writing, learners will start writing about one of the topics or prompts for a designated amount of time. With each topic, learners will activate their prior knowledge of different topics or different aspects of a single topic by jotting down ideas. After a short period of time (1-3 minutes) learners should rotate their writing, left or right, to the next person. Quickly skimming the previous comments, the learners should then continue the conversation by adding to the topic or by responding to what the previous student wrote. This process should continue until the original owner’s paper is returned. To conclude, the original owner will summarize the thinking of the entire group in 1-2 sentences.

    Possible Alternatives: Chain Notes

    CASH Out

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This requires learners to reflect on a reading passage, article or video using four guiding questions:
    1. What did you learn about the topic? (Cognitive)
    2. How did you react to the topic? (Affective)
    3. What surprised you about the topic? (Surprise)
    4. What idea or topic was helpful for you? (Help)
    These questions provide a focus for reading and a guided discussion opportunity.

    Process: Participants respond individually after reading a passage or viewing a video, followed by a time to pair share in which each partner has one minute to share out his or her responses to each question. The learners should be provided the four guiding questions prior to reading the passage or viewing the video.

    Possible Alternatives: North-South-East-West, I Used to Think...But Now I Know

    Chain Notes

    Learning Framework Connection: Learning Design
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Scaffolding

    Purpose: Chain notes provides a written opportunity for learners to articulate their understanding, build upon the understanding of others and contribute to a group effort to respond to a given question or prompt.

    Process: This activity begins with a question printed at the top of a paper. The paper is then circulated from learner to learner. Each learner responds with one or two sentences related to the question and passes it on to the next learner. Upon receiving the previous “chain of responses,” a learner adds a new thought or builds upon a prior statement.

    Possible Alternatives: Carousel Writing

    Cloze

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This technique is used assess the extent of learners’ vocabulary and knowledge of a subject, to encourage learners to monitor for meaning while reading and/or to encourage learners to think critically and analytically about text and content.

    Process: This is a technique in which words are deleted from a passage according to a word-count formula or various other criteria. The passage is presented to learners who insert words as they read to complete and construct meaning from the text.

    Possible Alternatives: Cornell Notes

    Exit Tickets

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Exit Tickets allow learners to process new concepts, reflect on learning and express their thoughts about new information. Educators can use exit tickets as a way to adapt and differentiate instruction, collect information about learner interest and even provide learners with a recap of the previous day’s lesson. While extremely easy to implement, this informal measurement is a quick way for educators to gauge the level of understanding of a new lesson or concept by their learners and make necessary modifications or adaptations to the lesson.

    Process: An exit ticket is one or two questions or problems for learners to answer quickly at the end of class. To successfully execute this strategy in your classroom, make sure that you have the exit ticket questions ready before class begins, so that you don't waste time at the end of class trying to come up with questions. Either write them on the board or pass out a slip of paper so that the learners can visually see the questions. After allowing learners to respond to the questions, collect the responses and begin to look for patterns in the answers. Use this data to determine next steps, identify those in need of assistance or acceleration, or to group learners for an upcoming activity. Exit tickets work best if they are short and simple and typically focused on the main points of the lesson, not small details.

    Resources: http://www.theteachertoolkit.com/index.php/tool/exit-ticket
    http://service.columbia.k12.mo.us/lhagen/files/2013/07/Exit-Entrance-Slip-explanation-examples.pdf

    First Word/Last Word

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This is a technique used for pre- and post-assessment of learners’ understanding of a topic. Learners’ thinking is made visible when they create an acronym using a vocabulary term.

    Process: Choose a vocabulary word from the content and ask learners to write the word vertically on a sheet of paper. Learners will use each letter in the vocabulary words as the first letter of a word that is a characteristic of the vocabulary word. As a post-assessment, ask the learners to repeat the process.

    Possible Alternatives: Paint a Picture

    Flexible Grouping

    Learning Framework Connection: Environment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Responding to Learners

    Purpose: By allowing learners to work in differently mixed groups, depending on the goal of the learning task at hand, learners are empowered to feel more involved in the learning experience. Flexible learning groups help ensure that all learners feel part of the learning environment. It also allows the educator to provide learners with appropriate instruction and materials while providing room for individual differences using open-ended assignments.

    Process: Select a text or a scaffolded learning activity that can be written at multiple instructional levels. Match text or activity to individual learners. Differentiate engaging activities within each group but hold the same expectations of the standards for all learners. Assess several times within the activity to ensure that standards are being met. Use assessment data to dissolve and form new groups of learners.

    Possible Alternatives: Ability Grouping, Heterogeneous Grouping, Homogeneous Grouping

    Four Corners

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This is used with selected response questions to identify groups of learners with similar responses to the question asked. By meeting “in the corner” with learners who have similar ideas, learners can further discuss and clarify their own thinking with others before returning to their seats and engaging in discussion with the class or small groups of learners with different ideas.

    Process: After learners are given time to respond to given question or prompt, learners move to a corner of the room designated to match their response or similar way of thinking. Images or descriptions are posted in each corner of the room and are designed to prompt discussion. Time is given for learners to engage in discussion within their corner (homogeneous) group as well as with learners from other corner groups (heterogeneous).

    Possible Alternatives: Clothespin

    Goal Setting

    Learning Framework Connection: Learner/Educator, Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Responding to Learners, Assessments

    Purpose: Setting learning goals provides learners with opportunities to articulate the purpose of the learning experiences, while emphasizing the learning and de-emphasizing the errors and consequences. Utilizing learning goals supports a growth mindset about intelligence, believing it can be developed. Learners recognize opportunities to learn through both successes and failures.

    Process: Learning goals may be set at the start of a school year, grading period, or unit of study. Learners may draft their own learning goals, in their own language, or educators may provide support through clearly defined learning objectives. The educator may support the learner to connect the goals to the learning outcomes for the course, lesson, or unit of study. Attention should be paid that the goals are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Educators should guide learners to reflect on the learning goals throughout the learning experiences as well as at the close of the course.

    Possible Alternatives: Learner-designed rubrics

    I Used to Think...But Now I Know

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This activity asks learners to compare verbally or in writing their ideas at the beginning of a lesson instructional sequence to the ideas they have after completing the lesson(s).

    Process: Using the prompt, “I used to think...but now I know,” learners articulate how their learning has changed as a result of the learning experience. Possible responses may include specific commentary connected to the content or metacognitive statements regarding the amount of knowledge a learner recognizes before and after a learning experience.

    Possible Alternatives: K-W-L

    Menus

    Learning Framework Connection: Learning Design, Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Scaffolding, Assessment

    Purpose: Menus give learners choices in topics, products, purpose and/or audience. Skills and objectives are met with differentiation, while also allowing learner voice and choice. The educator still has the opportunity to guide learners through complex outcomes.

    Process: Create a multitude of possible products that consistently support the skills and learning outcomes. Arrange products in a menu that allows learners to choose. Formats include: Breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert, point values add up to 100 and tic-tac-toe.

    North-South-East-West

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This activity provides learners the opportunity to reflect on their learning, self-assess or provide immediate feedback to learners during or at the end of a class period. Learners respond to four questions:
    1. What else do you need to move forward? (North)
    2. What is our next step? (South)
    3. What do you find worrisome? (West)
    4. What excites you about these ideas? (East)
    These questions provide systematic reflection for learners.

    Process: Participants respond individually to the four given questions during or following a learning experience. Learners should be prompted to reflect upon the responses and begin to make decisions and communicate needs as a result.

    Possible Alternatives: CASH Out, I Used to Think...But Now I Know

    Paint a Picture

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This activity visually depicts learners’ thinking about an idea without using any annotations. Learners must think differently about a concept and illustrate their understanding clearly and effectively.

    Process: This involves giving learners a question and asking them to design a visual representation that reveals their thinking and answers the question. The picture needs to stand alone without labels and can be used to explain their thinking. Learners may paint their picture using chart paper and markers/paint or create their illustration digitally.

    Possible Alternatives: First Word/Last Word, Visual Synectics

    Plus/Delta

    Learning Framework Connection: Learner/Educator
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Responding to Learners

    Purpose: This is a way for learners to consider the positives and negatives about their learning experience. It can be used at any time feedback is needed - end of the day, after a project or report, end of the week.

    Process: Using slips of paper such as sticky notes or a digital platform such as Linoit.com, learners record positive and negative aspects of their learning experience. Positive reflections are noted using the icon of plus while negative reflections are noted with the Greek letter Delta, meaning change. Reflections are compiled from the entire class and sorted according to Plus/Delta. Then, the educator and/or learners may discuss adjustments to subsequent learning experiences as a result.

    Possible Alternatives: surveys

    Read, Cover, Remember, Retell

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: The strategy assists learners in reading more carefully and taking responsibility for consciously focusing on remembering information in the text. The approach stops readers frequently, to encourage them to think about the meaning of what they are reading.

    Process: 1. Learners find a partner. 2. Learners read as much as they think they can cover with their hand. 3. Learners cover the text with their hand. 4. As they read, learners consciously focus on remembering what they have read (it is ok for them to peek back at the text for help). 5. Learners tell their partner what they remember. 6. Learners read some more and follow the steps again.

    Technology Connection: Independently, follow steps 2-4, record (using Audioboo or Voice Memo) retell, play back and assess self

    Possible Alternatives: Journal writing, draw a picture, think pair share, Thinking Map

    Self-Evaluation

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Self-assessment is an essential part of evaluation because it's an opportunity for the learner to assess his/her own achievements and areas for growth. It can be used as an opportunity to build perceived value, distinguish self and show how strong his/her contributions have been and could be. Learners are able to objectively reflect on their own progress, identify gaps in their understandings and even identify ways to improve their performance. The evidence of a growth mindset, for both the educator and the learner, is key to developing a learner for life.

    Process: Creating opportunities for the learners to goal set and reflect, on a consistent basis allows a learner to monitor his/her own progress. To begin, either involve the learners in deciding the criteria for which they will be evaluated or clearly explain the criteria to the learners. Ensure that learners understand and can explain the different levels of criteria. Assist learners in creating plans of action to improve their performance. Provide opportunities through reflective journaling, portfolio reviews, learner contracts, teacher-student conferencing, or peer conferencing for learners to reflect on their process and evaluate their work. This should include setting general or specific goals.

    Possible Alternatives: Journaling, Peer Evaluation

    Socratic Seminars

    Learning Framework Connection: Learning Design, Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Scaffolding, Assessment

    Purpose: In Socratic seminars, learners must respond with a variety of thoughtful explanations: they must give evidence, make generalizations and tell how the information is represented for them. In other words, they must engage in active learning. When they develop knowledge, understanding and ethical attitudes and behaviors, they are more apt to retain these attributes than if they had received them passively.

    Process: Socratic seminars typically consist of 50-80 minute periods. In groups of 25 or fewer, learners prepare for the seminar by reading a common text (e.g., a novel, poem, essay, or document) or viewing a work of art. While reading, learners should consider an analytical question that was set forth before the group. Learners should draw from the reading and be prepared to articulate their thoughts and defend their answers with support from the text. Arrange the desks into two circles, one within the other. Pose the analytical question to the inner circle for them to begin conversation. While the inner circle is discussing, the outer circle should be making observations and considering the responses of the inner circle’s conversation, knowing they will rotate in. After about half the time has passed, the circles should swap spots. Ask a volunteer to state the question and then repeat the process.

    Possible Alternatives: Philosophical Chairs

    Social Contracts

    Learning Framework Connection: Learner/Educator
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Responding to Learners

    Purpose: Social contracts can reinforce positive behaviors by creating a culture of trust, mutual respect and accountability. When everyone understands the social contract, members of the group are better equipped to support and help each other.

    Process: To develop a social contract, one must first create established group norms that are few and stated positively. The educator should consider ways in which to solicit involvement from the learners. Group norms should promote respect, teamwork and mutual interdependence. It is vital that the educator consistently respond appropriately to contract violations.

    Possible Alternatives: Classroom rules and procedures, class creed

    Theme Triangles

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Theme triangles allow the learners make contemporary thematic connections between a novel (whether whole group, smaller lit circles, or independent reading selections) and a film as well as one other genre (poetry, song, art, speeches).

    Process: After a review of theme statements, the small group identifies a theme from the novel. They next choose a film to watch outside of class that has this same theme (not a film of the novel they just read). They must also find an example of this same theme in another medium or genre. They then prepare a presentation to discuss the theme and it's relevance in the novel and the other examples. The presentation can include a writing component that defends the chosen theme and the support from each component.

    Possible Alternatives: Whole group decisions that then lead to small groups with a similar film interest

    Gallagher, K. (2004). Deeper reading: comprehending challenging texts, 4-12. Portland, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers.

    Two Stars and a Wish

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: This is a very simple technique for getting started with peer assessment. Each learner is charged with providing feedback to another learner, noting two positive comments as well as one area for improvement. Practicing the design of such feedback with Two Stars and a Wish helps empower learners as owners of their learning.

    Process: The educator should explain to learners that they will be providing feedback on the work of their peers. Make sure that learners are aware of the significance of this strategy and the importance of constructive feedback. The feedback must directly relate to the criteria established in the classroom. It is important that the educator and learners negotiate and construct the criteria together. This provides the learners with clear objectives and guidelines and demonstrates fair and equitable assessment practice.
    1. Learners listen to or review a peer’s work.
    2. Learners identify two positive aspects (stars) of the work and record a reflection in support of this.
    3. Learners express a wish about what the peer might do next time in order to improve the work.
    4. Learners provide the feedback in a written response.
    5. Educators need to model this strategy several times, using samples of anonymous learner work, before asking learners to use the strategy in pairs or on their own.

    Possible Alternatives: Peer Feedback

    Whip Around

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Whip Around is a formative assessment where an educator can quickly gauge learners’ understanding of a given topic. It can also be used as a check of understanding.

    Process: With everyone encouraged to participate, learners individually write down answers or responses to a question as prompted by the educator. Learners then “whip” around the classroom as they share their responses with the class being careful to pay attention so as not to repeat a response from another learner.

    100%

    Learning Framework Connection: Environment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Responding to Learners

    Purpose: 100% is a strategy in which the educator does not proceed to the next activity until the entire class is attentive. This creates an environment of high expectations and does not allow any one learner to be labeled as "bad" or "good". The educator will move on when he/she has 100% of the classes focus.

    Process: At the beginning of the year, the educator works with the learners to create a signal that will be used to gain their full attention when needed. When needed, the educator will give the signal to focus the learners and eliminate as many distractions as possible.

    Possible Alternatives: Give Me Five

    3-2-1

    Learning Framework Connection: Assessment
    Professional Learning Focus Connection: Assessment

    Purpose: Learners will reflect, organize their thoughts and prioritize ideas. It is an opportunity to give learners a chance to summarize key ideas, focus on concepts they are most interested in and pose questions that can reveal where their understanding is still uncertain.

    Process: While reading, or at the end of a lesson, learners list three things they learned, two questions or wonders and one personal connection. Can be shared or collected.

    With reading (on the line, between the line and beyond)
    3 - Right there questions
    2- Think and search questions
    1- Author and me questions that go beyond the text

    Technology Connection: post to blog, Today's Meet, Linoit

    Possible Alternatives: On, Between, Beyond