Student Assessment – Verbs and Verb Tense

This is a quick assessment for the following two objectives: (1) Identify the verb in a sentence, and (2) Identify the verb as past or present.

Download the pdf of the assessment, answer key, and data scoring tool.

Grade Level:  Elementary

Word Sort – Money, Money, Money

I’ve just finished a card sort to go along with the money content cards.  You may want to consider using both.  I’ve also included four idea sheets for using the content cards with students.  The idea sheets are designed to align with Virginia’s Standards of Learning (3rd grade), but if you teach the basic money concepts, they’ll work for you as well.

Download a set of the money sort cards and enjoy using them!  Don’t forget to come back and share your own good ideas here!

Content Cards – Money, Money, Money

1.There is a front and back side to this content card.  Even at the third-grade level, there’s a lot of information for students to learn.

2.Use this as a study card for students.  But remember that any time you have a visual for students, you want to make sure to use it as a teaching tool.  I know you know this, but don’t focus on all of the parts at once.  Draw the attention of your students to the card as you teach the different parts in your lessons.

3.Show students how to use a piece of paper to cover the parts of the chart you’re not working with. 

Click here to download the Money Content Cards.

Questions?  Just email me:

Kindergarten Data Sheet – Can students write their names?

One of the things kindergarten teachers like to track is how students are coming along with writing their names.  So here is an idea for doing that.  What is great about this tracking sheet is that the interventions are built in!  I’ve put in a few illustrative examples to show you how to connect interventions and strategies to the data.  Notice how simple using data really is.

I’ve included a number of things you may want to download and try:  The overview sheet with tips about using the tracking chart, the tracking chart in a PowerPoint so you can customize it how you wish, and the tracking chart in EXCEL for those who might like to keep the records electronically.

Rapid Response Cards – Punctuation

Download these pdfs:  Overview sheet, black and white template, yellow template.

Rapid Response Cards – Checking for Understanding

This is a response technique to give students practice in answering recall and some critical thinking types of questions.  Rapid Response Cards are any type of response cards you use with your students.  They are called Rapid Response Cards because they are a quick way to obtain responses from all of the students in your class at one time. You can ask a question and have everyone hold up an answer. This is a terrific way to assess students on the questions you ask.  This is a quick and effective technique to use when you want to check for understanding.  Prepare a master set of response cards – use black ink on bright yellow cardstock for cards that are easy to see.  (You may even want to laminate the response cards so that they will “wear” well.)

 Download theses pdfs:  Overview sheet, black and white template, yellow template.



Content Card – Bar Graph

This content card is designed for elementary school students.  If you like this one, just let me know and I’ll add to the content for middle and high school students.

Download the bar graph content card in pdf format.

Fix That Graph – Grade Distribution in 8th Grade English

Today’s graph features data related to grade distributions for 8th grade English.  School improvement teams sometimes show grade distributions as a tool to show improvement in a content area.  Sometimes a community wants to see the distribution of grades to determine if there is grade inflation.  Sometimes college staff looks at distribution of grades for the same reason.  Now I am not saying that this data is the right data to use for grade inflation, I’m just noting that this is one way people use this kind of data. 

So let’s focus on the graph for grade distributions.  As you can likely tell, this graph was part of a presentation.  First of all, I’d like to clarify the term, histogram.  In a histogram, the bars touch one another.  In a bar graph, they do not – so this is really a bar graph.  But whatever you call it, the intent is to show the Grade Distribution in 8th Grade English. 

Here are a few quick things I want to note about this slide.

Based on the data, it looks as though this school/district used a grading scale in which:

A          91-100 points

B          81-90 points

C          71-80 points

D          51-60 points

F          0-50 points

Since it says on the slide that this data is used to monitor progress, we’d want to see percentages – and not just how many students.  Below is how I would present the data in for the distribution of grades in 8th grade English.

  1. Use a pie chart.  A pie chart is perfect for showing the proportions of things in relation to a whole.  In this case we can see what percentage of students earned each grade – and this percentage can be compared from one quarter to the next or one grade level to the next.
  2. Write a title that tells what the data shows.  Remember that a good title will tell exactly what the data shows.  In this case you can tell that the graph shows the percentage of students who earned each grade, that it’s 8th grade English, that it’s the second quarter of the school year, and you even know what school this data is from.
  3. Include the percentage with each grade.  You can see from the pie chart that forty-two percent (42%) of students earned a B.
  4. Use contrasting colors to for the labels.  When you design this in EXCEL, the default for the labels is black.  But a black font does not show well on darker colors, so I made the font white.  I also increased the size of the font and made it bold, and then centered the labels within each part of the pie.
  5. Include the source of the data.  One challenge we always have when working with data is comparing it from one year to the next.  It’s important to keep track of the source of the data – which specific dataset you used to create a chart or graph – so you compare the same data set from one year to the next.    For example, you could place the following within the chart or directly under it:

 Data Source:  Quarterly 2 Grade Report, Pleasantville Middle School, 2009-2010 School Year.  (This is the same report you would use for each Quarter for this and subsequent years – to allow you to compare similar data from one year to the next.)

In this case, just a few changes will make this graph easier to read and interpret – and that’s the purpose for using graphs and charts in the first place.