Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TEI Tuesday Tip for 10/29

Getting on board with "fill-in-the-blank" TEI questions

Take a look at the two sample science TEI questions. Students must “fill-in- the-blank” by providing the correct answer. Easy enough, however, this kind of free response answer is atypical of most multiple choice tests. Most of the fill-in-the-blank TEI questions involve numeric answers, but getting students to generate an answer based on correct  calculations and problem solving, requires practice. How can you have students practice this type of response while also building their endurance? 
Dry erase boards: Dry erase boards offer a fun, quick way to get ongoing feedback from students. They are reliable when the technology isn’t. The teacher can monitor student progress and adjust instruction by observing student responses on their mini-boards. They are a useful tool throughout each stage of instruction and can be used in many different settings.
I made a set of dry erase boards by purchasing one large sheet of  “shower board” (tile board)  at Lowe’s. When I explained it was for my students, they were willing to cut the board into individual pieces.  With nothing done to the edges, these inexpensive dry erase boards have lasted since their purchase 10 years ago. If you have a hard time finding this type of shower board, why not use plastic coated dinner plates, laminated folders or sheet protectors with heavy paper inside.

Google Forms: If you’ve never created a Google form, these can also provide an engaging way to have students practice filling-in-the-blank with a little more zip to the results.  A Google form can be used to collect information that is text-based or numeric-based. When students submit their answers on a Google form, the data goes to one spreadsheet that you can then use to view, sort and compare results.
Using a Google form isn’t something that you can only do in the computer lab setting. With only a few computers in your classroom, students can take turns completing a Google form as a quick formative assessment, check for prior knowledge or learning extension.
Here is an example of a Google form that you might use to get students thinking beyond one right answer.  The science question in the TEI sample asks the student to identify the number of carnivores in the woodlands habitat diagram. The Google form below asks students to identify carnivores in a variety of habitats.

Pose a question, respond using a Google form, then have a discussion based on their responses.
Here's to another day of "thoughtfully engaged instruction"!


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