May 17, 2012
Continuing this series on formative assessments for the Common Core, I thought I would write about the Think, Write, Speak technique. This one seems so intuitive, that I can hardly believe I am dedicating a blog post to it. Not only that, but I think this technique, which is probably already at use in most classrooms, further illustrates the point that much of the Common Core is already occurring, albeit by different names. When you employ the Think, Write, Speak, you ask students a question and have them write their answer before accepting any verbal responses and launching a class discussion. In this way all students have a chance to answer on their own, before your most active particpants can answer aloud, thereby letting everyone else off the hook for thinking for a little while longer. As an assessment tool, this technique gives the teacher time to circulate and view the responses of his/her middle level students. (Let's face it, by about the second week in September, an experienced teacher knows which student in her class will be the first one to raise his/her hand with the correct answer and which student will be the last. It is those middle level students whose comprehension may not be clear to the teacher.) This old-fashioned technique gives you time to circulate and check on those middle level students. Therefore, as we move forward with our Common Core lessons, this type of formative assessment is one that we should keep.
I'll write more about formative assessments tomorrow, but right now I want to offer congratulations to new parents, Kevin and Wendy as they welcome their new baby boy into the world! This song is for you and your bundle of joy: