K-F-D Quizzes

Use these quizzes to satisfy those school requirements that have nothing to do with acquisition, yet everything to do with teaching expectations. K-F-D Quizzes allow you to put a number in the gradebook that builds confidence instead of shattering it, while also providing input. Alternate with something like Quick Quizzes to vary your quiz-types a little bit without any prep.

This is my take on the classic K-W-L (i.e. Know-Want to Know-Learned) chart, yet my purpose for a K-F-D (i.e. Know-Forget-Don’t Know) Quiz is to put a score in the gradebook while providing input rather than hold students accountable for reading, as done in other content areas (which probably just contributes to readacide anyway). All you need is a text, and all students need is a piece of paper folded thrice into columns with K-F-D written at the top. By the end of this Quiz, students will have written down English equivalents for all words/phrases on their paper. That is their score (e.g. 1/4, 3/4, etc.).

  1. Read a paragraph of text out loud, slowly, to students.
  2. Students listen, and write down words/phrases they a) Know, b) knew but Forget now, or feel like they might Forget later, and c) Don’t know.
  3. Pause for about 10sec between paragraphs to allow students to write down some words/phrases they just heard. They only need 1 from each paragraph, but are certainly free to write down more within the time. You might want to try a “see how many you can write in X seconds” kind of challenge. You might not.
  4. Continue with a new paragraph—4 total—so your slowest processors can write at least one word from each paragraph.
  5. Reread from the beginning while students interrupt to ask clarifying questions about the words in the F and D columns. Discuss in target language, or ask Personalized Questions and Answers (PQA), or just move on.
  6. Collect quizzes, put scores in the gradebook.

There’s a good chance that more than one student has Forgotten or just Doesn’t know a particular word/phrase. During the rereading and student questioning, you won’t necessarily hear from every student, which is fine. In fact, if you’re low on time, make sure you use a completely new word. As long as you emphasize it to draw attention, ALL students should write that in their F column, but only one has to ask about it. This gives everyone at least one of the four English equivalents needed for a 4/4 score.

Here are some possible outcomes:
A) Bruce wrote 3 words he Knew, and 1 he Forgot. During the rereading, Johnny asked what that word was, and wrote the English equivalent. You put 4/4 in the gradebook.

B) Diana didn’t hear any words she knew—why did you choose to read that particular text to students?! This one is on you, dude, the language expert and teacher!—so she wrote all 4 words in the Don’t know column. During the rereading, Sally asked about 2 of the words were, heard other students ask about the other two, and wrote all the English equivalents. You put 4/4 in the gradebook.

C) Kal was having a bad day, and wasn’t really listening. He wrote 1 word he Knew, 1 he Didn’t know, and then just gave up. During the rereading, he sat there—why didn’t you check in with him, and try to get him engaged?!—so he only wrote 1 English equivalent. You put 1/4 in the gradebook. Since you’re using a 0% Portfolio system to look for trends in order to determine a course grade (rather than individual quizzes averaging and each one affecting the overall course grade), this has no negative effect. You can use that evidence to talk to him, or parents, or admin, or just treat it as one of those things that’s just going to happen to kids every now and then. Move on.

So, try K-F-D Quizzes with your classes, and report back with questions, clarifications, or improvements!

17 thoughts on “K-F-D Quizzes

  1. Clarifying question: am I correct in understanding that based on what you wrote in #3 that this does not “count” as a grade (it goes in the gradebook, but it’s formative)? I haven’t read all of your assessment archives so I want to make sure I am not misinterpreting 🙂


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  14. What about this scenario, which I wouldn’t put past some of my students to experience?

    Pepe writes down four words from across the paragraphs, but then doesn’t get called on to ask about more than two of them, and no one else asks about those specific words. He earns a 2/4, even though it wasn’t his fault he didn’t get the English support he needed.

    I know in your situation this doesn’t count as a grade directly (my school wouldn’t let me do that sort of thing; students need to “earn” their grade in a very old-school way around here). In my gradebook then, this really comes down to having truly just the right mix of words in a reading passage? I will have to choose carefully indeed. 🙂

    • No students are called on. It’s up to them. If they are fine with incomprehension and don’t signal, they aren’t meeting expectations, and a 2/4 would show that.

      I’ve also had students sort ALL words of a given passage they’re reading.

      The score could just be participation. Are they writing down English words? Great. 4/4. Are they not? Not great. 2/4, etc.

      • I see. I didn’t mean like cold-calling, just getting their word clarified, and I missed the part about them interrupting to get clarification. That really does put it on them, doesn’t it?

        I like that. ¡Gratias tibiam!

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