✔ Rules (DEA & CWB)
✔ Routines (Routines, Student Jobs, Interjections & Rejoinders)
✔ Brain Breaks
Schools really, really, really like their teachers to count things by grading and assessing what students do. This counting has nothing to do with language acquisition, but has quite a bit to do with you keeping your job. The best distinction a teacher can make is between reporting a score, and assigning a grade. Chances are good that no one is forcing you to assign a grade. Even if they are, they aren’t. They probably only need to see a REPORTED SCORE to give some indication of how students are doing, but not a grade that averages into the student’s overall course grade. This concept holds up even for strict districts that require “2 grades per student per week” in the gradebook. You can meet this demand, but those scores never have to factor into a student’s overall course grade as long as you create a grading category with 0% weight. I call these “container” grading categories because they contain scores used as evidence of learning, but don’t factor into the overall course grade. When reporting scores, use simple assessments that take no time at all to administer, but also provide CI.
**BTW, don’t announce assessments. In a CI classroom, you don’t need to because stakes (and the Affective Filter) are low.**
**If using the DEA or a similar rule system you could report those scores at 0% weight instead of grading them.**
I used to think these short 4 True/False quizzes were a waste of time and didn’t inform me of how students were doing in class. That was before I understood more about language acquisition, and before I realized that I should focus more on interacting with students instead of creating assessments.
The way I’ve used Ben Slavic’s Quick Quizzes has changed format over time. I used to give them orally in the target language at the end of class as students wrote their 4 T/F answers on a small piece of paper. Once collected, I graded them, and entered scores in the gradebook. I would choose the 4 statements about what went on during class from a list of ~10 that a student had written down (i.e. student job = Quiz Writer) throughout class. That worked out fine, but I’ve settled on a new way that’s a complete home run when combined with a self-correcting practiced that I first heard from Bob Patrick:
- My Quick Quizzes are now “open-book” reading assessments. Why? Instead of assessing student memory of what happened in class, I’m really only concerned with their comprehension at that very moment when they interpret the target language.
- I project a text (e.g. story, novel, description, Discipulus Illustris interview responses, etc.), read it aloud to students, then say 4 True/False statements in English. Why English? I don’t need students to misinterpret a question in the target language, and there’s no way to know if that’s happening if I assess them IN the target language. Besides, most of our class is in the target language and I’m already assessing them each time I ask a question; it’s called “teaching to the eyes.”
- If what I say is False, students must provide the original detail that I changed. Why? I overheard some kid say “wow, I guessed and still got 3/4!” No more guessing.
- Once done, pencils go away, the Red Pen People (student job) distribute red pens, and we correct as a class. Why? I don’t need to correct 150 tiny pieces of paper in already limited prep time. Besides, this is when CI happens. At this point, I use the target language to discuss the text while we “correct.” This word is in quotes because student performance on this Quick Quiz doesn’t matter; it’s a score to REPORT and another way to deliver CI. There’s also a high probability to get in some Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA) based on the projected text.
- The Paper Collectors (student job) give me the Quick Quizzes when we’re done, and then I enter the scores into the gradebook later. Sometimes I have students do an activity for ~10min while I enter scores during class. Afterall, we all need a break from CI now and then, and school stuff (e.g. meetings, meetings, and meetings) get in the way of what is supposed to be our prep time. This is one way to regain that time for yourself.
Click on this image for a video of the Quick Quiz process after a Discipulus Illustris interview the day before: