Diagnostic Assessment

“Walkabouts” are a fun way to get all students to move around, interact and engage in a dialogue with others in the classroom. This strategy is especially effective for more introverted personality types because it does not put anyone on the spot. 

Here’s an example of how we used walkabouts in my curriculum class today:

  1. Teacher poses a question to the class, both visually and orally, “What are your concerns about being in the classroom with students?”
  2. Students discuss their concerns with others in their table (groups of four).
  3. Each student receives a blank, legal sized piece of paper. Teacher prompts students to write down their biggest concern. (Ex. “How do I ask students the ‘right’ questions to engage them in learning?”)
  4. Optional: Shuffle papers around and lay them out on different areas in the classroom. 
  5. Students each get three stickers (teacher should cut these out in advance). Silently, students walk around the class to read the questions their classmates come up with. Students are prompted place one sticker on each question they are interested in.  
  6. Once they have finished placing their stickers, students can write down their suggestions or answers. Remind them to be gentle, and if necessary, go over class guidelines on providing appropriate feedback.
  7. Teacher collects papers with the most stickers. 

Once the papers with the most stickers (ones which most students are interested in) are collected, the teacher has several options of what to do with them:

  • Read out the questions, and answer them in front of the class.
  • Distribute them among the class, and have students brainstorm their own solutions in groups.
  • Use these questions as jumping points for beginning a new lesson each day. 

Can you think of others ways this strategy can be implemented in the classroom? Let me know in the comments below!

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