Apps and Tools / Seesaw · February 18, 2022

Easy, in the Moment Formative Assessment with Seesaw

Formative assessment is the piece of the teaching puzzle that allows us to quickly gauge how well our students are understanding the material we’ve taught. From there, we make the important decisions about where our lesson will go next. Do we need to reteach, or are our students ready to progress? Do some students need additional practice? And which students need to be pushed to achieve the next level?

The best formative assessments will not only answer these questions but will also engage students in their own learning.

Seesaw has a set of ready-to-go Check for Understanding Activities that make formative assessment easy! Activities are ready for students in grades K-2nd and 3rd-5th and include five different options that can be used across subjects. The entire collection can be found here, where you can preview an activity to see more details, view the teacher notes, and favorite an activity to save it to your library and assign to students. I love having the ability to assign the activities as is with no need to edit!  This is a huge time saver.  

The five Check for Understanding Options, Show What You Know, Explain Your Thinking, Reflection Routines, Exit Tickets and Choice Boards, will help you quickly gain insight into student understanding and adapt your instruction. 

Once you have chosen your Check for Understanding activity and assigned it, teach your lesson the way you normally would, just add time for students to complete the Check for Understanding activity. I love the flexibility I have when choosing when students complete the activity. Sometimes I plan for students to complete the Check for Understanding activity during centers or stations, independent practice, or even during whole class instruction. You can also use these activities to maximize moments during transitions or other periods of downtime, such as having students complete a Check for Understanding activity just before or after:

  • Moving from carpet time to desk work
  • Coming back into the classroom after lunch or recess
  • Returning from specials (P.E., music, art, etc.)
  • Going to another area of the school such as the restroom, the cafeteria, or on a fire drill
  • Rotating from one small group activity to another

I challenge you to explore the collection of Check for Understanding activities, choose one activity to assign in the next week and gain valuable insight into your students’ learning!  Share what you love about the ready-to-use Check for Understanding activities in the comments below!