Formative Assessment- Socrative in a Math Class

When you hear the word “assessment,” what comes to mind? Do you picture a hard copy of a test with true/false, multiple choice, and short answer questions? Do you automatically think of formative assessment? Is this the only way to assess our students? How often should we be assessing our students and what is the best method to assess them?

As a math teacher it is imperative that I assess my students on a regular/daily/constant basis. Are they understanding the concept? Do they get the bigger picture? Many times my formative assessments include having the students orally answer, demonstrating on the board, demonstrating on mini white boards, and so on, but this year we decided to give Socrative a shot. (Here you can read my blogpost about Socrative and how to use in your classroom.) I have used Socrative many times with my 4th graders, but this was the first time that I used the app as a test review. I chose to use the quick question feature on the app because I did not want to pre-make a quiz. I would orally ask my students true/false and multiple choice questions that correlated with topics that I wanted them to master. For example, unit 1 discussed geometry. When using Socrative I would ask things like, “True or false- This (pointing to a rectangular piece of paper on the wall in my classroom) is a regular polygon.” I would project the answers on the board and discuss with my students. Socrative allowed for me to not only quickly assess what they understand and what they didn’t, but it also gave every student a voice. The quiet kids participated, the kids who love to participate regularly were quieted down some to give others a chance to shine, the kids who mastered the concepts participated, the kids who needed a little extra help or needed to be re-taught the concept participated, and the list goes on.

The next day in class, my teammate who team teaches math with me used Socrative in a similar manner and loved it. She loved the fact that she knew what each and every kid was thinking and what concepts were mastered and what were not. She loved that she could hide their names so that kids didn’t feel embarrassed if they answered incorrectly. We plan to use Socrative regularly in math to check for understanding.

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