Reflection: Checks for Understanding "Monsters" First Read - Section 2: "Monsters" First Read


Formative assessment doesn't have to be a complicated quiz.  Formative assessment is what teachers do on a daily basis to see what students are comprehending and what they are not. A simple way measure this is by asking students to write their own questions. By looking at their questions, you can tell whether they're struggling to comprehend the series of events or working on analyzing literary devices (even if they don't realize that's what they're doing).

Going further, asking students to go back and answer those questions helps you see where they are.  If a student asks something like "What causes the people to freak out?" but can't answer it (The power goes off and on and Les's car starts and stops by itself), then you know they're struggling with comprehension.  If they're asking questions like  "Why did Charlie kill Pete?" then you know they're ready to analyze.

You might think that if you're relying on the questions students write, then they won't get to the questions you want them to consider.  They will, though.  Either they'll ask the questions, even if they're not the way you might have phrased them) or you'll guide them to it with quickwrites. But if the students feel that the questions are coming from them, the learning will be more powerful.



  Using Student's Own Questions as Formative Assessment
  Checks for Understanding: Using Student's Own Questions as Formative Assessment
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"Monsters" First Read

Unit 10: Analyzing Literature with Act 1 of Rod Serling’s “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Lesson 5 of 10

Objective: Students will be able to analyze a story's plot and word choice by completing a first read, asking questions, and identifying vocabulary words.

Big Idea: Putting a toe into the world of "Monsters" with questions, comments, and vocabulary.

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