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Running Head: Assessing Student Needs

Assessing Student Needs

Kelli Murphy
National University

TED 635
Professor Cathy Lauer
September 9, 2015


Assessment Techniques and Examples

After reading textbooks, watching videos from the course, and reflecting on
personal experiences, 15 different types of assessment techniques are organized
and presented in this paper. Each technique is described and organized to include
the purpose of each technique and whether or not it is good for all students no
matter their learning level. An example of when each technique can be used in the
classroom is provided, most of which are examples for the second grade curriculum.
A description of the type of assessment whether it be entry level, progress
monitoring, or summative is also included.

Assessment Techniques and Examples

Assessment Technique
1. Written Reflection. A
technique where
students will reflect
immediately following
a learning lesson to
answer basic
questions about the

2. KWL charts. These are

perfect for gathering
information prior
knowledge of a
subject or topic and
they encourage
inquisition, active
reading, and research.

This type of assessment
would be used for
progress monitoring
throughout the lesson.
When students are able
to answer a prompt or
question immediately
following a lesson, you
are allowing them to
describe their
understanding of the
prompt in their own
words. It is also a way to
summarize what they
have learned that day to
help reinforce their
This is appropriate for the
entire class because all
students that can write
can participate. It would
be challenging for ELL
students because of
vocabulary, but students
should have access to
dictionaries or other tools
to aid them with the
writing since it is a form
of informal assessment.
This type of assessment
would be done at the
beginning of a unit. It is
designed to gather
information from students
to assess what they know
about a topic that will be
learned, what they want
to know about the topic,
and then what they learn
as they read and
This is something that
can be done in a variety

In second grade, one of
the common core
standards in ELA is for
students to be able to
recount stories, including
fables and folktales from
diverse cultures, and
determine their central
meaning, lesson, or
moral. After reading a
story to the class, a
teacher could ask
students to write a
paragraph explaining the
moral or purpose of the

One thing that students

have to learn about in
second grade classrooms
is money. Money is a
perfect example of
something that we could
do a KWL chart on. A
teacher can ask students
what they currently know
about money and as a
class can fill out the K
portion of the chart. They
can follow along and
write on their own KWL
chart or the teacher can

Assessment Techniques and Examples

of ways, as a class, in
small groups, or
This type of preassessment is something
all students can benefit
from, especially ELL
students because they
can hear from other
students and learn from
their shared responses.
This might activate their
own connections or prior
learning on the topic.
KWL type charts are part
of SDAIE strategies which
are designed to aid
English learners.
3. Checks for
understanding with
whiteboards. The
teacher should pause
presentations to check
for understanding
during the lesson
allowing students to
answer individually on
their personal

4. Role Playing. This is a

way to assess
students speaking
abilities by using
drama and reading

This is a formative
assessment that will be
done throughout the
lesson. It helps to identify
gaps in comprehension,
breaks up the lectures
into more digestible bites,
and allows for teacher to
make adjustments to
presentation of material.
This type of assessment
might be difficult for ELL
students since it is asked
orally during a
presentation and then
has them write an
answer. One way it might
be adjusted for them is to
give students the option
to draw pictures or write
to answer the question.
Role playing allows
students to use language
in a playful manor. This
form of assessment
removes the grammar

do one for the whole class
on the projector or white
board. Then the teacher
could ask what they want
to know about money and
would fill out the W
column. The teacher can
even prompt students by
asking questions to
prompt them to make
connections for what they
know or want to know
about money. Depending
on the level of student
understanding of money,
the teacher can decide
how they want to present
the different learning
lessons about money to
the class.
During a math lesson,
this could be used to
demonstrate their
understanding. For
example, if a teacher was
teaching about double
digit subtraction and was
showing them ways to do
this, he/she could pause
and ask students to
demonstrate the equation
15 minus 10. Students
can do this on their white
boards individually and
can use pictures to
demonstrate how they
got the answer or they
can write it out.

One way to use this in the

classroom is through
reading of folktales or
fairy tales. One of the
second grade common

Assessment Techniques and Examples

with expression.
Students will become
the character, see
through their eyes,
and show expression.

and written assessment

and focusses more on
oral assessment. This
activity is something to
be used as formative
assessment during a
lesson as students will
continue to learn after
role playing has taken
This type of assessment
is good for all students,
students with ELL or
special needs especially.
Use of props, or actions
can help aid in
understanding for all

5. In Class Activities.
Group or individual
activities that allow
students to practice,
solve problems, or

This is a type of progress

monitoring assessment.
Classroom activities
create a space for peerto-peer learning and rich
class discussion. The
instructor can assist
students who are getting
stuck and guide those
who are moving in the
wrong direction.
This type of activity is
great for all types of
students. It can benefit all
types because they can
use materials to aid in
their learning, such as
building blocks,
worksheets, or other

core standards is that
students be able to
acknowledge differences
of points of view of
characters, use
information gained from
the illustrations and
words in a print to
understanding of its
characters, settings, or
plot, and to compare and
contrast 2 or more
versions of the same
story. By having students
act out stories we have
learned about, it allows
students to demonstrate
their understandings of
the characters, allows
different perspectives of
the point of view of
characters, and we can
compare and contrast the
different stories after
viewing the role playing.
One time I observed a
first grade class where
the teacher had given
students a task to work
on. She was doing a math
lesson with the students
where she was going to
have to pack up their 30
elf houses (students had
made their own elf
houses a few weeks
before) in some bins she
was going to buy at the
store. She told them she
wasnt sure the best way
to pack them up, but she
needed their help
deciding how many bins
she would need to pack
up the houses and they

Assessment Techniques and Examples

This can be done in many
subjects such as word
searches for vocabulary,
math practice
worksheets, or other
graphic organizers.

6. Quizzes. Knowledge
checks designed to
assess progress
midway through a
unit, gauge students
prior knowledge, or
review before a test.

7. Brainstorming/concept
maps or webs. Present
an open-ended
question for students

Quizzes are a way to

assess what students
know, clear up
misconceptions, and
drive home the point of
how much they will learn.
These are usually used to
check on knowledge of a
portion of a lesson to
check for understanding
and mastery. They can
also be used as
preparation before a
larger test. There are
many different types that
can be done such as
multiple choice,
true/false, fill in the
blank, etc.
This strategy is also a
form of formative
assessment. It can be
done throughout a lesson

needed to come up with 2
ways. She split students
in pairs and gave them
each 30 connecting
blocks and a work sheet
to have them draw or
demonstrate on paper the
2 ways she could pack
the bins up. The only rule
was that each bin had to
have the same amount of
houses. This activity
allowed students to work
in pairs to demonstrate
with their blocks and their
worksheet the best way
they thought for her to
pack up the houses. After
they explained how they
came up with the answer
and why that was the
best way for her.
In elementary school
when I was growing up
we had quizzes every
week in different
subjects. I can remember
doing spelling quizzes
weekly, and also timed
math quizzes. I dont
think that these particular
examples are used as
much these days as I was
in elementary school 20
years ago, but quizzes
can be used in all
subjects to check for
understanding of the

These can be used in

multiple settings. They
can be used in the
beginning of the lesson

Assessment Techniques and Examples

to discuss or solve in
their own creative

8. Class deliverables.
This is another form of
in class activity where
students are required
to submit a product of
their work for a grade.

or even in the beginning

of an assessment. It
allows students to work
individually or in pairs or
small groups or even as a
class to share ideas that
answer the question or
address the
problem/prompt. Teachers
or students can challenge
students responses to
prompt further learning.
This promotes critical and
creative thinking and

where students create a

concept map of what they
know about a topic or
make assumptions or
guesses of what they are
going to learn. It also can
be used as a form of
formative assessment in
the middle of a unit
where students
demonstrate connections
they have made during a
unit between vocabulary
words, or other ideas in
the lesson.

This type of assessment

can really benefit gifted
students because the
teacher or students can
challenge students for
further information or
expansion in their
thinking. It also can
benefit ELL students
because it is another
form of an SDAIE strategy
which is a form of
scaffolding for students.

One way I might use this

in a classroom is by
having students organize
their notes in a concept
web at the end of the
days lesson. For
example, after learning
about one of the United
States presidents, I would
ask students to come up
with a concept web/ mind
map that demonstrates
and organizes the
information about him
before, during and after
his term as president.
They can use their own
creativity to come up with
a way to demonstrate
this, but it must include
facts from all 3 of the
One example of a class
deliverable would be used
for lifecycles in the
second grade. In second
grade students learn
about different life cycles,
so a teacher could ask
students to draw out and

This type of assessment

can be done as a
formative assessment. It
is used as a way to check
for understanding during
a lesson so that a teacher
can correct any errors or

Assessment Techniques and Examples

This is something that

would benefit all students
because it would be an
activity where students
who are struggling can
have assistance by a
teacher or other students
during completion and
students who are more
advanced can expand on
their learning.

9. Informal Observations.
Actively listening to
and watching
students behaviors
about during learning
lessons and activities.

This type of assessment

can be done as an early
assessment or as a
formative assessment.
Teachers who observe
their students while
teaching a lesson are
able to evaluate their
understanding. Spotting a
blank look, a nervous
pencil tapping, or a
grimace of discomfort on
a students face, the
teacher can stop the
lesson, check for
understanding, and
reteach the material to
meet the needs of the
students who did not
understand (Eby, Herrell,
and Jordan, 2011, p. 210).
This form of assessment

label on a provided
graphic organizer the
different parts that make
up the life cycle of a frog.
Students can both draw
and write what they
learned and the teacher
can view the students
understanding when they
submit the work to make
sure that they know the
order of the lifecycle
(sequencing) as well as
the different stages. If
students finish early, they
can be challenged to
write about other
animals life cycles that
they know of or to relate
the lifecycle of the frog to
what they know of a plant
or human life cycle.
An example of when this
would be used in a
classroom is as students
read aloud, primary
teachers observe and
listen for patterns of
errors in decoding words.
They may also listen to
the expression in the
students voice to
determine whether the
student comprehends the
material or is simply
saying words aloud. They
listen for signs that
indicate whether the
student is interested in or
bored with the material
(Eby, et al., 2011, p.210).
In addition to just
observing, teachers need
to also ask questions to

Assessment Techniques and Examples

is really needed for all
levels of student learning.
It is important that
teachers be able to pick
up on the above
mentioned cues and clues
to ensure all students are
benefiting from the

10.Learning Contracts. A
device where a
teacher meets with
individual students to
agree on a suitable
number and type of
optional activities. The
activities on the
contract then provide
the structure for daily
learning experiences
Eby, et al., 2011, p.

Learning contracts are a

great form of summative
assessment. In a learning
contract, a student will
submit a selection of
assignments at the end of
the lesson to
demonstrate their
In elementary school
level, students would be
required to use teacher
selected work to submit
in their contract. It is one
way to encourage
independent activity with
students as they can
work on their contracts
when they have down
If done correctly, this is
something that can
benefit all students
because it will likely
always use different
forms of activities to
understanding of each
portion of a lesson such
as some forms of writing,

allow students to respond
so teachers can make
accurate assessment on
understanding. By asking
questions a teacher might
observe a students
through process and by
one student explaining
their thought process, it
might trigger another
student to understand the
idea better or prompt
them to make further
I would use this type of
assessment on a larger
lesson that might take
weeks to get through.
There are multiple types
of writing that takes place
in second grade: opinion
pieces, informative
pieces, and narrative
pieces. I would have them
do a learning contract for
each type of writing as
we learn the different
parts and characteristics
that make up that type of
piece. For example, when
we are writing about
opinion pieces, we will
discuss what the
differences are between
opinions and facts. I
would likely have
students create a T chart
that explains what a fact
is and what an opinion is,
and provide an example.
Then we will go over the
different parts of opinion
writing. I will have them
use worksheets that
break up the different
parts of opinion writing

Assessment Techniques and Examples

some graphic organizers,
some art, etc.

11.Projects. A way for

students to organize
information in a way
of their preference
and present to the
class their findings.

This is something that

would be done at the end
of a unit. It allows
students to go deeper
into the material to put
knowledge they have
acquired to create
something new from it.
This type of assessment
is good for all types of
students. It allows
students who may not
test well to demonstrate
their abilities in a
different way.

such as coming up with a
topic sentence, 3
separate reasons, and a
conclusion for their
favorite food or some
other prompt. Over time
they will have multiple
different assignments
that lead to completing
the lesson on opinion
writing and I will have
many samples of each
step of their learning and
understanding at the end
to make an accurate
assessment of their
I can remember when I
was in elementary school
that we were learning
about mammals and were
asked to pick an animal of
our choice, research it,
and create a presentation
about the mammal to the
class. Back then, there
was not as much use of
technology so I did use
the internet and books to
research the mammal,
but the presentation was
done by creating a poster
board with pictures and
facts to support me in the
presentation. I would love
to do this with students.
The common core ideas
are to prepare students
for life after high school
whether it be in college or
in the work force.
Presentations are
common in both areas so
practice at a young age
can really help with their
oral skills and

Assessment Techniques and Examples

12.Presentations. A way
for students to
knowledge of a topic
to the class as a whole
or the teacher using

This can be done either

during the lesson as a
formative assessment or
likely at the end of a unit
as a summative
assessment. The purpose
of a presentation is to
allow a different form of
assessment to students
who may not be as strong
at test taking, and also
allow creativity in a
knowledge check.
This assessment might be
difficult for an ELL or
special needs student,
but with help can benefit
them. One way they
might be more successful
is by allowing them to use
note cards while
presenting. This could be
a useful tool for all
elementary age students
as it takes the fear of
presenting out when the
material they have
prepared is organized in
front of them. Also the
use of power point or
other visual aids can aid a
student in their

13.Portfolios. Submission
of a collection of
student work at the
end of a lesson or
school year to
demonstrate progress
they have made
throughout the time

Assessment portfolios
are used to document
what a student has
achieved in school (Eby,
et al., 2011, p. 220).
Student portfolios are a
great way to track the
progress and
improvements over time
for a students work. It

comfortability or speaking
in front of a group, etc.
A teacher could use
presentations for
individuals or even small
groups. It can be
incorporated in many
ways: students can
present their writing
pieces at the end of a
writing lesson. They can
present the concept map
that they made in the
middle of a lesson to
explain how they came
up with the connections.
It also can be used at the
end of a lesson for
example, in second grade
students learn about
Earth systems and
structures including
patterns of weather and
factors that affect
weather. A teacher could
split the groups up into
different groups and each
group can explain a
different aspect of
weather and explain it in
their own words using a
power point or poster or
even a play or poem to
present to the class an
explanation of what they
learned about that
weather pattern.
A short term portfolio
may be collected for the
duration of a learning
unit. For example, in the
astronomy unit, all of the
students work, including
quizzes, essays, pictures,
and photos of the model
solar system, can be
collected in a portfolio to

Assessment Techniques and Examples

also provides students an
opportunity to reflect
throughout the lesson or
time period. This type of
assessment is a
summative assessment.

14.Exams. A summative
assessment used to
determine the level of
understanding at the
end of a unit or

It is beneficial for all

students as each student
portfolio is specific to
them and will show their
own difficulties and
throughout the lessons.
Portfolio assessment
allows students to
demonstrate their
knowledge without being
dependent on English
fluency or reading ability.
Portfolios allow the
teacher and student to
approach the anxietyladen process of
evaluation more
comfortably because it
celebrates progress
rather than weakness
(Eby, et al., 2011, p. 222).
It allows for parents and
teachers to see
progression or struggles
in the topics being
Exams are typically used
in the end of a lesson or
semester to demonstrate
the level of
understanding. There are
many different ways that
an exam can be
presented such as by
having short answer
questions, multiple choice
questions, true-false
questions, or any

document that students
accomplishment during
the unit. If a contract was
used during the unit, the
contract is included in the
portfolio along with the
work samples (Eby, et
al., 2011, p. 222).

Exams are good to see

what students have
learned at the end of a
lesson or at the end of a
semester. I have taken
many exams in my life
mostly starting in middle
and high school, but
continuing through
college and even in the
work force. For this
reason, I believe exams

Assessment Techniques and Examples

combination of the above
Exams are also used for
all classes for the
nationally standardized
achievement tests that
are used to assess
students knowledge
around the entire nation
and ensure that teachers
are in fact teaching the
appropriate curriculum.
This type of assessment
is difficult for some
students, especially ELL
students, who may know
a concept, but not
understand a given
question due to language
barriers. It can also be
difficult for students who
just do not perform well
with this style of strict

15.Papers. A short piece

of writing on a
particular subject.

This type of assessment

is a summative
assessment. Usually
there is a rubric assigned
so that students
understand what is
expected of them to
receive full credit on their
assignment. This type of
assessment gives

are important even in the
elementary school
classroom. One way an
exam can be used to test
for understanding in an
elementary school class
is to test for knowledge at
the end of a lesson plan.
Math is a common subject
that utilizes exams. In a
second grade classroom,
students are required to
learn the standard units
of measure (centimeter
and inch) and use rulers
or other measurement
tools to determine these.
I would likely give
students their tools and
give them a test asking
them to use the tools to
find the right answer.
Answers would probably
be a mix of multiple
choice and short answer. I
might also have a word
bank and have students
answer several questions
with only using each word
one time to complete the
sentences. This is one
way I might be able to
help ELL students as they
will have learned the
vocabulary throughout
the lesson.
In the second grade,
students are expected to
participate in a shared
research and writing
project for example: read
a number of books on a
single topic to produce a
report. A book report is
the perfect example of a
paper appropriate for

Assessment Techniques and Examples

students the opportunity
to go deeper with the
material and put the
knowledge they have
acquired to use.
This type of assignment
might be difficult for ELL
or special needs students,
but since it is something
done over time and likely
edited before final
submission, they can use
resources to correct any
mistakes and edit their
paper. Students that are
more gifted can really
benefit from this type of
assessment because it
allows them to write at
their own level and they
can even expand by
adding in a reflection at
the end of their paper.

students in the second
grade. Students can each
select a book they enjoy
and then use an
approved format to write
a report that answers the
teacher approved
subjects to report on.
Examples of what they
would need to include
would be the settingwhere the story takes
place, main charactersgive a brief description of
each character,
summary- what happened
in the book, moral of the
story- what did you learn
from reading the book,
and conclusion- how did
the story end.

Eby, J., Herrell, A. L., & Jordan, M. (2011). Teaching K-12 Schools: A reflective action
approach (5th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
Methods of Assessment. (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2015, from

Preparing Americas Students for success. (n.d.). Retrieved September 6, 2015, from