I’ve written other posts about Make It Stick, the amazing brain and learning book I read earlier this summer. Like this one, this one, and this one. I was determined to implement some of the strategies from the book into my classroom, and the biggest one was our Daily Challenge.
Each day my students free read for ten minutes, and then they complete a Daily Challenge. This is a 4-question quiz comprised of multiple choice and T/F questions that review vocabulary words and concepts from previous days or weeks.
The purpose of these challenges is not for a grade, nor is it for formative assessment alone, although that’s a great benefit. The main reason we have daily challenges is to reinforce learning. As the book Make It Stick explains, simply re-reading or re-listening to information isn’t as effective as self-quizzing. Answering questions and making the mind reach back reinforces learning.
In other words, I use these Daily Challenges as a learning tool.
Too often, we view quizzes and tests as forms of assessment. However, they can be more than that. Why can’t we use short daily quizzes as forms of learning, where we encourage to remember and recall what we did yesterday or to give them challenge questions they haven’t tackled yet?
Technology also provides enough quiz and test apps where we can provide feedback to students immediately after they answer questions.
Personally, I’ve found success with using Riddle. With this app I can’t see individual scores, but I can see class totals, which is what is important to me: to keep improving as a class overall. Also, students can take it at their own pace and I don’t have to wait for all students to be ready before beginning the challenge. Students can also take it if they’re absent (I link it on our daily agendas).
Riddle also provides immediate feedback to students, thus enhancity it as a learning tool. Here’s a sample of one of my Riddle daily challenges:
Other great apps include Socrative, Formative, Exit Ticket, Kahoot, and Pear Deck. Each of them has their pros and cons, so find the one that works best in your classroom.
I don’t grade these, but I do use the results to add gold points in Classcraft. For each question that the majority of the class answers correctly, I award everyone 10 gold points. This encourages a stronger classroom culture and makes it less of a competition (which can be deterring for some students).