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Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Another quiz day today.

Another oddball idea.

At this time of year, sitting and testing is a thing to be avoided.

But I still need assessment information.

Instead of traditional quizzes, I am experimenting.

Last week we tried the paper ball popcorn quiz.

This week, I tried something else...mostly just for novelty's sake.

Since our focus is characterization, I wanted to be strategic in the questions I asked.

Since everyone reads at a different pace, I also wanted to make sure it wasn't page dependent.

I decided to give a quiz that asked students to do three things:

      1. Describe a character

      2. Illustrate the character

      3. Provide specific textual evidence

I wrote the quiz in four questions, then I thought about how to make it interactive.

Instead of having students write answers silently, I chose a different strategy.

Each student selected a character and placed their name on the back of their paper with a single descriptive word.

They were then invited to move around the room adding words to everyone else's papers.

My goal here was to force students to think about multiple characters...and to help each other.

I also gave them a list of character trait words to help support their word choices.

Once they had a collection of descriptive character traits, I invited them to illustrate.

The instructions included the opportunity to turn the words into pictures or a mind map or color to show their understanding of the character.

Finally, after all of that (a total of 15 minutes or so), students were given the task of finding, citing, and explaining a representative quotation from the novel.

I graded two sections before I left today.

So far, EVERYONE passed with an 80% or higher.


The kids got a chance to show their knowledge, support each other, interact, get creative, and use textual evidence.

And it took about 20-25 minutes.

How could that not be a good thing?

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