Formative Assessment Feedback Tools for the Classroom

I know what you’re thinking… “I am going try that soon.  I really do think it would be cool to use in my classroom.”  I have been there… I know!  We all have good intentions, but when it requires time, we often run short. It’s hard to take the time to try something new. There are not quite enough hours in a day!

Formative assessments, unlike summative assessments, aren’t a test but used during the learning process in order to monitor student learning and improve student attainment. Using tools like the ones I will list below is a win-win as they are engaging for the learner and very informative for the teacher! Here are some quick and easy tools to add to your formative assessment toolbox and help engage students.

Quizzizz – Create and play multiplayer quiz games. In Quizzizz the questions and answer choices are on the student’s device and the teacher projection shows the real-time results of the student’s progress and understanding.

Kahoot – Many of you probably already know about Kahoot. It is a fun tool and easy to use! It includes a timer and lots of fun colors which make it appealing.  You can embed videos and use this as part of the teaching process, as a review game, or to foster curiosity when beginning a lesson. There are many possibilities! With Kahoot, the teacher’s computer is used to display the questions, and the student devices only show the answer choices. Therefore, the students cannot work ahead.

Go Formative I LOVE this one because it allows you to draw or upload an image as a response! Go Formative works with Google Apps too, so it will work with those of you using Google Classroom.

Zaption lets you embed questions within the video.  This is something to definitely check out if you’re flipping your classroom. With Zaption, questions are asked during the video, and students can’t continue the video until they can correctly answer the question.

If you don’t have enough devices for students to use these tools in your classroom, consider dividing them into teams with each team using a device. They can take turns answering and discuss as a team. It will still be fun and engaging!

Don’t have enough devices in your room for the tools above and want to gain feedback from every individual student? Check out Plickers. With Plickers, every student gets a specific sheet of paper that works like student clickers in your classroom. They hold up the paper depending on their answer. Then, you can scan their papers with your teacher device for the results.

There are strengths and weaknesses for almost every tool.  These formative assessment tools are no different.  Many times it is about trying them out and seeing which one will work for you. The thing I love about them all is that they don’t take tons of time to setup and use.




Clyde ConnectRecently, our students have jumped on board the Mystery Skype bus, and it has been incredible! The problem solving and engagement that comes along with the exercise is invigorating and uplifting to this educator’s heart AND mind! YIPPPEEE!!!

It has been my goal for sometime now to get our students CONNECTED!!!  This is SO important because, so often, we think Texas is the only place on Earth!  It is also critical to allow students to participate in how the world works both digitally and collaboratively to solve real world issues by connecting with people around the globe.  Skype for Education has accomplished a built-in social network for educators on Skype, and this opens MANY doors for all educators that desire this for their classrooms. Check out our Skype lesson below!


mystery skype with Texas

As Technology Integrator for Clyde Schools, one of my goals is for our students to connect with as many places around the world as possible to get acquainted, learn locations and cultures, and potentially work on classroom projects together via Google Docs and other online collaboration resources. We would love to brainstorm with you on your project ideas as well! Please fill out the following form and let us know more about you. What are we waiting for?? LET’S CONNECT!

Check out our Skype lesson below and  fill out our Form to connect!


Please check out our Monster Match project and let me know if you and your students are interested in connecting with our students in this writing project.  This will be our 2nd year to do this, and it is a favorite for our kids as it is VERY ENGAGING!

Twitter Hashtags #

Yesterday, in our Wednesday afternoon Tech Training, we discussed Twitter and its uses as a PLN (Professional Learning Network).  One thing that I wanted to share with everyone is some hashtag(#)  resources that you can search to find good educational people to network with and follow on Twitter.

Check out this link for Popular Twitter Hashtags from November Learning, an EXCELLENT resource!

As many of you know, Cybrary Man is potentially the best educational resource out there. If you haven’t visited this site, it is an absolute must!  He has a great list of educational hashtags on his page to help you find applicable groups on Twitter.

If you want a simple list, this one is great!  Teach Thought is a great resource for educators, and their educational hashtag page is simple and categorized!

Using Google Drive in the Classroom

Several teachers in the district are using Google Drive as a place to receive student work.  Students begin this process by creating a folder and then share it with their teacher.  This allows both student and teacher to see the work placed inside that folder.  Teachers, then place student folders inside class folders in their drive (1st period, 2nd period, etc…)  This seems to work well and allows for a paperless approach. Also, keep in mind that Google Drive has an app for most all devices, so students can use this and work from their phones and tablets making it great for the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment.

Google Drive Folder Sharing Guide for Students

Google Drive Folder Sharing Guide for Teachers

Other recent district uses of Google Drive and the Drive app

Recently, students in the 7th Grade Pre-AP English class used Google Drive and the Drive app while creating their script for the KC3 project.  There were 14 + students working on this script.  This allowed them all to edit, revise and work collaboratively on the script that they would use to rehearse and ultimately present.  Initially, they printed the document, then edited, then re-printed, etc… until they realized that they could just use their phones, Kindles, iPads, etc.. while rehearsing and presenting.  After this, there were no longer any hard copies of the script allowing for all scripts to be up to date.  It worked out very nicely.

Twitter: My Favorite PLN

As many of you already know, Twitter is my favorite PLN (Professional Learning Network).  I easily attribute much of my learning and growth educationally to it! IT has allowed me to choose my interests and follow MANY people that share similar interests from around the world, giving me a network from which to learn TONS!  Before Twitter, I spent many late nights searching for that perfect lesson, tool, or activity and feeling like I had wasted hours just trying to find one decent resource.  The beauty of Twitter is it allows me to gain information that now “falls into my lap” because of the network of people I choose to follow.  

Educators have quickly become curators of mass information.  Twitter really makes curation easier for teachers because:

  • If you want to read it, read it.  If you don’t, don’t worry.  It will be there when you are ready for it.  Unlike subscribing to blogs, etc.. that come to your email, Twitter can be accessed when you have time to catch up.
  • Most of the good stuff on Twitter gets tweeted, and re-tweeted and re-tweeted and re-tweeted which means that it will stay on your feed, or it will come back around later.  Therefore, don’t worry that you are going to don’t worry that you are going to miss something.  The amazing stuff will most likely re-surface, or you will be pointed to a resource where you can find it later.


  • Follow the right people on Twitter, and this will allow you to constantly stay in contact with folks looking for the same information as you, covering the same concepts as you. 

 Here are a few Twitter resources that I found on Twitter. 😉


Classroom Communication

Edublogs is a great service to use for student and parent communication.  Clyde Elementary and Intermediate teachers have grade level blogs for communication with parents. They subscribe via email for updates on information and assignments.  Junior High and HS teachers have parents as well as students subscribe to their blogs for information updates.  Organizations and extra curricular activity blogs (Theater and Athletics) at Clyde CISD have blogs where everyone from the newspaper, community and extended community have subscribed to receive updates and information on game changes, rehearsal times, meetings etc..  
Remind 101 is a free service for teachers to communicate with parents and/or students via text messaging.  Teachers create groups/classes to quickly deliver information in a text.  Students and parents are given a code to subscribe and no one has to ever exchange phone numbers.
QR codes are an efficient way for people to get information via a mobile device.  QR codes eliminate the need to type in the long url to visit a website, and allows to scan the QR code (with a QR code reading app) and  go directly to the website from any device.
Twitter remains my favorite place to grow my professional learning community. (That opinion might change tomorrow.)  By creating a community of people that share information relevant and necessary to my needs, I save time and always have the latest and best information delivered straight to me instead of searching for hours to find one decent  resource.

Curating iPad Apps and Resources

Today, our elementary teachers will be having a Pinterest party and will spend time finding apps for their new class iPads!  How exciting! To help in their app discovery and venture, I have put together a few resources for them. I hope it helps!

To begin with, Livebinders is a great resource for technology tools and ideas.  It has it’s own app too! Livebinders is taking the idea of binders (that teachers have used for years) and digitizing them! It is similar to Pinterest in how you can search and find other people’s binders and add them to your shelf.  Even if you do not want to create a LiveBinders account of your own, it is an EXCELLENT place to begin searching for web resources for your classroom!!  Below is a shelf that I have created for Elementary iPad resources.


Pinterest is a great place to find ANYTHING! Like Livebinders, it is a GREAT stop for teachers to begin to curate the web for fun and engaging lessons! It is especially a great place for to find apps for a particular grade level or subject area.  I encourage you to create a Pinterest account if you do not have one.  If you need my help, please let me know, and I can get you started.  You will need someone to invite you to Pinterest, otherwise, it will take you a while to get an account.  Once you have an account, creating a board for your apps is a great way to organize and keep track of the great ideas you will find on Pinterest!

 Pinterest Elementary iPad Resources

At this point, I have a Pinterest Board that I use to organize app info and ideas that I come across on the internet and on Pinterest.  It will vary from subject and campus.

My Apps for the Classroom Pinterest Board

iPad Apps for School is an EXCELLENT blog by Richard Byrne!  He is the also the author of Free Technology For Teachers.  I would highly recommend subscribing to both blogs!

iPad Apps for School

TCEA’s list of iPad Apps and Resources














PBL: Making School an Event

After hours of hard work, our team presented yesterday at TCEA in Austin over PBL and Tech Integration.  It went well! TCEA was great, as always!  We learned SO much and came back with tons of new tools to share.  That will be coming soon! Most importantly, this trip to TCEA gave me an opportunity to see life from the student’s perspective as our presentation was a PBL project.  We had great attendance in our session and a wonderful audience that asked great questions!  You can see our Today’s Meet site here with Q&A from the presentation.  


Check out the Project Based Learning Space Page