GoFormative.com-So Easy, So Powerful!

In August we were challenged to try new strategies in the classroom.  Well, last week I heard about a website that allows teachers to quickly assess students and see their results-all at once!- in real time.  I am always looking for ways to create formative assessments that provide immediate feedback…this resource does just that!   Laura Graves and I decided to jump in and give GoFormative.com a try. I used it in both my EL class and my AP class. The set up was extremely quick and easy.  I was able to share a code with Laura so she could use the same assessment or tweak it as she felt necessary. (You can also view and steal  borrow the exams of others using their “community” feature).

The results were powerful and immediate (which is why I am sitting on my couch writing this post at 11 pm…I just had to share how amazing this resource is!).  My class struggled with question 7 and Laura said her students had the same issue…so we know we need to spend more time teaching the skill the question required.  Now that we have analyzed their results, we made groupings for tomorrow.  Our students will be assigned a group and question.  Two students in the group chose the correct answer and two did not.  The two who chose the correct answer will teach the two who did not and then the entire group will teach the class.  They will also discuss multiple choice strategies they used that could help their classmates prepare for the AP exam.

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Here is the quick and easy set up:  

  • Step 1: Go to GoFormative.com. Add a class name.  A code for each class is generated and saved. (You can also bypass this, create an assessment and simply give the students the assessment code if you prefer).
  • Step 2: Browse the pre-made formative assessments or create your own.
  • Step 3: Share with other teachers on your team as needed
  • Step 4: Students sign in with Google and add themselves to the class using the code. (You can use my handout to help guide them)
  • Step 5: Assign the assessment and watch students working through their LIVE RESULTS option!
  • Step 6:  THE BEST PART!  Intervene as needed as you watch on your iPad in real time.
    • Examples of how I intervened:
      • 1)  I prompted students to look at #7 again since 85% of them had answered incorrectly.
      • 2)  For #9 I noticed students using the second person in their responses and reminded them they needed to use 3rd person and stronger verbs.
      • 3) I also used AirPlay to mirror my iPad to my computer.  All of the students could see the drawings they created for #10.  I called on some to defend their drawings with text connections.

Below: A view of my Assignments Page and a view of the pre-made checking for understanding tools GoFormative.com provides:

 

Below: Live Results by question. Notice you can see all student answers at once as they are submitted (I have blacked out names to protect privacy).  A graph in the upper right corner allows you to quickly see the percentage of students answering correctly.

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Below: You can switch from question view to summary view in the drop down menu.  As a result you see all of the students on the left and the questions they have answered correctly and incorrectly on the right.

summary-view

Short answer and “show your work” are also answer options.  Below:  On the left students were to write one sentence.  I made the question worth three points.  Using the red to green line I can assign them 1-3 points. I can also type in feedback.  On the right you see a “show your work” example. My EL students discussed the idea of a legacy the day before.  I gave them this quick check the following morning and had them illustrate the word legacy.  I then projected their answers and we discussed how each picture depicted the key word.

 

How I am thinking about using this in the future…

Claims/Thesis Statements – Usually I walk around and try to get to each student to give feedback about writing.  Inevitably some m ay be left out as others need more attention. Or I collect writing on paper and give feedback later…but feedback that is not immediate is certainly not as powerful.  With GoFormative.com I can have them type their claims and using my iPad I can quickly scan all of them as they write.  I can type individual responses back quickly, walk right over to someone I see needs immediate help, address the whole  group immediately on collective issues. I can even assign a GoFormative assignment for homework and instead of grading paper copies that night, I can instead log on and provide feedback as they write at home.

Craft – The anchor standards call for all of us (not only English teachers) to help students analyze craft and structure.  For example, I might have my students practice Reading Standard 4: (Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone) by having them identify the strongest word in a passage like Lincoln’s The Gettysburg Address.  They can write or type this word and then as I see them come in I can call on students to justify their claims OR I can quickly group them by similar or different responses and have them discuss in small groups. (And all of this also hits Listening and Speaking Standard 5!). Then they can discuss how Lincoln craft the piece using specific, urgent diction to communicate his purpose/message to the audience.

Groupings / Differentiation / ALL content areas!!! – Using Go Formative to differentiate is such an easy method!   Once a teacher used the student data (responses collected) they can be grouped based on those who need immediate intervention by the teacher… or they can be paired up by ability groups or mixed groups.

World Languages – Okay…so I don’t teach World Languages BUT I heard that Spanish teachers from another school were working on time.  They used the “show your work” feature and asked students to illustrate various times on a clock.  Teachers told students the time in Spanish and had them draw clocks showing the correct time.  The teacher could view all individual answers live and quickly assess who needed intervention.

So many possibilities with this simple and easy to use resource.

A note about grading: Just a reminder that a formative assessment is used to inform instruction…it is not used for grades.  The teacher analyzes the results as a way to evaluate what a student already knows/can do, what a student needs to know/be able to do, and/or what a student has learned/where the gaps in learning might be.  Students can also use their own results to identify areas of mastery and reflect on areas needing more focus. Formative assessments are not put in the gradebook (although I don’t often discuss this information with my students unless they ask!)   Of course, you could use GoFormative.com for formative assessments or summative assessments.

I would love to see how you use GoFormative.com in your classrooms so contact me if you are going to give it a try.  If you would like help using GoFormative.com, let me know!

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