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Informal Assessment Strategies: Who’s Correct?

Using a variety of assessment strategies is an important way to assess how students are progressing toward mastery of a concept or skill. Traditional methods include tests and quizzes; however, there are a host of informal assessment strategies that will not only keep your students engaged but will also provide the feedback that you need to get a gauge on your students’ understanding. Through my informal assessment strategies series, I share suggestions for engaging assessment tools you can use to fill your assessment toolbox.

This is an example of the Who's Correct strategy with fractions.

In today’s post, I’m sharing a strategy called “Who’s Correct?” This assessment tool allows students the opportunity to evaluate the mathematical thinking of others and either agree or disagree with the person’s response. It’s a great opportunity for students to practice their communication skills, engage in purposeful math talk, and develop a deeper understanding of the content.

How it Works

1. Present a problem situation to the class along with two to four student responses and supporting reasoning. Note: This task works best with student responses that reveal some type of misunderstanding.

2. Give students think time and allow them to determine who is correct and provide a justification.

3. Designate one corner of the room for each response. Have students go to the corner that represents the response they selected.

4. Give each corner an opportunity to discuss why they believe their student’s response is correct.

5. Then have each corner share their reasoning.

Note: It is important for students to feel comfortable taking risks in order for them to reveal their real thinking. If you feel that your students are not quite ready yet, consider the following modification:

1.) Have students anonymously record the name of the student they believe is correct and their reasoning on an index card or a sticky note.

2.) Students crumble and toss the index card or sticky note to a place across the room.

3.) Then have students retrieve a paper wad and go to the corner of the room that represents the response selected.

4.) Give each corner an opportunity to discuss the responses.

5.) In turn, have each corner share the reasoning from their index cards or sticky notes.

6.) Once all groups have shared, students can provide their own explanations and justifications for why their student’s response was correct or incorrect.

7.) Allow students the opportunity to change corners to match their new thinking.

Change it Up

Here are some ways to vary the strategies and add a few more informal assessment strategies to your toolbox.
A. After students have selected the response they believe to be correct, have them provide a justification for why the other responses are incorrect.
B. Assign each student a student’s response and ask him/her to determine if the reasoning is right or wrong.
C. Use this task to review a troublesome problem on a multiple-choice test or quiz.
D. Provide the students with three correct responses and one incorrect response. Then have the students determine whose response is incorrect.

Other Examples

Check out these other examples of this strategy in action. Then, create some of your own!
This is an example of the Who's Correct strategy with geometry.
This is an example of the Who's Correct strategy with number sense. Free Resource Alert: The visuals I used in this post, and a few others, are available here. To use them with your students, insert the pictures into a PowerPoint slide. Then insert a text box with the responses you want to highlight.

Sound Off! Have you tried this strategy? If so, share your experience in the comments section below.

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Shametria Routt Banks

Shametria Routt Banks

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