Having students take time to reflect on learning and to construct something that demonstrates their understanding is a key to the formative assessment process. When students construct a project, their final products often help teachers get a glimpse into their understanding. These products can help make a student’s thinking visible — not only to the teacher but to the world.
Before computers entered the classroom, we used to ask students to make posters or design brochures as a way of showing learning. Most likely, we had students rewrite the definition on a sheet of paper — and then complete a worksheet or two. Sometimes the next step was to test them to make sure they could regulate the meaning — and then we called it a day.
That simplistic approach changed when I got my first class set of computers.
Now students can construct their knowledge by making media rich representations of their learning using GoAnimate for Schools; students are now excited to show their work in this fun and creative way.
Take this example of a project done by 4th graders — starring a zebra and a giraffe demonstrating understanding of hyperboles in a fun way. (Note: this amazing idea came from Tracy Purdy — a Google Certified Teacher in Edina, Minnesota and even more amazing student Reagan).
In this project, the animals talk with each other about exaggerated ideas, while demonstrating their understanding of hyperboles.
Check it out!
Simple to do and oh so powerful. It is this type of engagement that helps students to retain their learning. The student constructed knowledge by sitting down and finding a way to demonstrate mastery of the concept: hyperboles. This is a much richer expression of learning than simply choosing the correct answer on a multiple choice test.
Next time you want students to show you they understand a concept, consider having them create a GoAnimate for Schools project. You’ll find that they will watch their own videos over and over again. Score one for the teacher, in the example above they just learned about hyperboles 200 times!
Holly Clark is an Innovation Specialist from San Diego, California helping teachers redefine instruction in their classrooms.