Browse Tag: Assessment

Welcome Back! Checklists Aren’t Just for Students

For students, the back-to-school checklist mainly consists of the standard list of supplies, the requisite instructional materials, and maybe a new backpack. Educators, however, have a much more daunting task to prepare for the year. Not only do they have to round up the supplies they need, but they also must create lessons, prepare the classroom, and put in place a plan for ensuring their students come away from the year with a truly educational experience. It’s a few weeks into school now, but we know how chaotic those first weeks can be. We’ve put together our top three suggestions for any educator looking for ways to set their year up for success.


Let’s Get Personal

It can be easy to become so focused on the needs of your students the first few months of the year, that you forget to take care of yourself. As you design lesson plans and meet with students and parents, take some time to set personal goals. What do you want to achieve this year? Be it career advancement, personal progress, or even just a focus on improved relationships with your peers, construct a list of ways you want to improve yourself over the next year. Giving yourself something to work towards can improve the overall classroom environment in surprising ways.

Maybe try keeping a journal. Noting and reflecting on your ideas and experiences not only allows you to keep track of the ever-mounting tasks at hand during the school year, but it will also give you a chance to see how far you’ve come at the end of the year. Between goal setting and journal keeping, our hope is that these measures help highlight the impact you are making as an educator.


Establish Your Baseline

Most educators have experienced at least one instance in which they worked hard on a lesson plan they loved, only to start over when realizing it was overly ambitious for their students’ skill levels. Using assessments helps educators track their students’ level of knowledge and skills. There are variety of helpful tools geared towards this, all of which have unique approaches. Some teachers may choose to simply have the students conduct a self-assessment, while others may utilize a specific formal assessment (summative, formative, benchmarking, etc.). The key is using whatever tool you have to establish what your students know, where they are in terms of their skill level and to identify a clear path for advancement.

It’s a simple fact that your students are all different in terms of skills and knowledge. There will be some far ahead of the curve while others lag behind. A baseline assessment of your class as a whole will allow you to differentiate your instruction to the needs of your individual students.


Establish Benchmarks

While it is important to have goals for yourself as an educator, it is also essential to work out clearly defined benchmarks and progress points that you want your students to reach throughout the year. These benchmarks may be observational, they may be the result of a running record, they may be formal assessment opportunities throughout the year, or they may be a defined set of test scores and portfolio elements. The important thing is that they are clear with target dates and goals to track student progress towards standards mastery allowing you to modify instruction to meet those goals.


The goal of the Measuring Up suite of digital and print instructional materials is to provide educators with the tools to assess students, target instruction, and provide each student with adaptive practice at their just-right instructional level. With over 25 years of experience and research backing us, we are dedicated to making student assessments simple for educators, with the goal of testing to track true yearly progress. To learn more about the Measuring Up solutions, visit us online today or contact your local sales representative!

Six Unique Exit Tickets to Use with Your Students

An exit ticket can be an effective way to determine if students are understanding what they are being taught. They provide immediate feedback, while allowing students to reflect on what they have learned, and challenge them to do more than just memorize and recall. Exit tickets can help teachers evaluate their teaching methodology and approach and determine if students are able to retain the learned information. Exit tickets also aid teachers in pinpointing when and where possible gaps in understanding have occurred so that these areas can be retaught.

Most exit tickets typically include only a few quick questions and that can be effective in supporting educators. In fact, we provide those within our Measuring Up worktext lessons. For those educators who want additional, creative exit tickets, the following suggestions can be used with your students:


  1. Make it Personal

Make the exit ticket relevant to their lives – if the math lesson is about area, students can measure their own rooms or houses. Have them bring in pictures of their room along with the worked equation. For ELA, have them write a story about something related to the lesson that is meaningful to them. Tying in real-world scenarios and helping students make connections from the lesson to their lives is critical to deepen understanding.

  1. Use Social Media

Most students are active on various social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook. If you school infrastructure allows for social media access, tweet questions and have students respond on Twitter, or post graphics on Instagram or Facebook and ask for comments to answer.

  1. The Rap Battle

Challenge students to create a rap about the day’s lesson with extra credit earned for a performance! Variations can include haikus and short poems.

  1. A Trip to the Movies

Students can craft a movie title and description based on the lesson, and then create a marquee poster for their film! Maybe provide your students with some popcorn too as an incentive.

  1. Send a Postcard

Students can create a postcard inspired by the topic. They can write about what they learned, or even ask questions. Make a mailbox for them to “mail” the postcards as they exit the classroom.


Measuring Up is a state-customized blended solution that offers standards-based print instruction as well as a digital component that delivers diagnostic/formative assessment and adaptive practice. The lesson format from the Measuring Up print instructional worktexts easily allows the teacher to introduce, review and practice on a targeted standard. The lesson activities can be used as exit tickets. The digital component also provides another way to create exit tickets easy and quickly for teachers. We believe exit tickets are just one more way to prepare students for the rigors of high-stakes assessments and provide educators with the tools they need to measure understanding and target remediation where necessary. For additional ideas, we love those suggested at Edutopia, and encourage you to develop your own too. Let us know what has worked for you here on our blog.

To learn more about Measuring Up and how it helps students build standards mastery, visit us at today!


Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial