Implementing the Common Core State Standards does not have to be a difficult chore for teachers. There are many ways you can quickly assess student learning and measure their levels of understanding.
While teachers will see a push for more writing, the samples need not be lengthy essays. Quick writes—a paragraph summary or a few sentences that show evidence from a tex—count as a writing activity. This is where bell ringers and exit slips can come in handy. The smaller size is less intimidating for students, yet they still practice essential skills.
I've included some examples of how I use quick writes in the form of bell ringers (given at the beginning of class) and exit slips (due at the end of class) to gauge student learning. These are from my two Common Core Bell Ringers & Exit Slips bundles: Volume 1 and Volume 2.
|You should NEVER sacrifice creative thought; it should still be encouraged alongside other skills.|
Both bundles have received rave reviews by teachers and students alike. One unique feature I include: the Common Core Standard on every single slip, so you (and your students) know exactly which skills you are practicing or assessing.
Use prompts that practice the Core standards, yet still encourage creative thought. Your students will be more engaged and will put more thought and effort into the activity. The activity above practices the third reading standard, which asks students to analyze the characters actions over time. By asking students to eliminate a character, they must think both critically and creatively to understand how that character impacted the plot and other characters.
Above, students are asked to relate a famous quote with the text. By forcing them to make those connections, they have to synthesize the information they've read.
Another quick assessment is my "What's Hot? What's Not?" activity. Students must select parts from the text that display both positive and negative aspects or connotations.
If you find yourself stressing about implementing the Core standards, DON'T! I have over 200 different activities to practice every single reading standard for both literature and nonfiction that can be implemented immediately. (See Volume 1 and Volume 2.)
I've been using the activities in my classroom for several years with great success. Feel free to comment or ask a question below. Thanks for stopping by!