Mimio Educator

Things to Consider When Creating Assessments

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Feb 13, 2019

At the end of a section of learning, it’s time for the teacher to create an assessment. This could be the end of a unit or chapter, but for what we are discussing today, a summative assessment needs to be created. Instruction is over, and we need to see what the student knows and has retained.

Where should a teacher start? The first question that should always be asked is, “Do I even need an assessment?” This may seem like a crazy question. “If I don’t give a test, what will I put in the gradebook?” But if we stop to think about it, not all learning is created equally. In the mind of a student, if something is tested, it matters because it is for a grade. So as teachers, if we test everything equally, we are sending the message that everything matters to the same degree.

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Topics: tips for teachers, MimioVote assessment, classroom assessment

The Point of Learning

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Jan 9, 2019

“At what point do you feel like you have ‘learned’ this concept?” This question that triggers a student’s metacognition can be a hard one to answer. As we reflect on the question, we may not be able to answer it easily ourselves. Have we learned something, like a fact, if we can recall it? Is learning the same as remembering? Have we learned something when we can use the information in a specific way—is learning the same as applying? Or does it have to be an even deeper level? Have we truly learned something when we can explain it to other people? Is learning the same as teaching?

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Topics: tips for teachers, classroom assessment

Grade What Matters—and If It Matters, Grade It!

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Fri, Jan 4, 2019

 

As humans, we tend to become comfortable doing something and like to do it the same way over and over again. It’s easy for our brain to become more “automatic” so we don’t have to think as much about each specific task. But for some things, as they have become more and more automatic, we may have forgotten about the original purpose for doing them in the first place.

I would contend that giving letter grades to students is one of these “things.” It has become automatic—so automatic that most educators don’t really stop to think much about the original purpose behind giving them.

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Topics: tips for teachers, classroom assessment, Administrator Resources

How to Use Assessment Clickers to Adjust Instruction

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, May 2, 2018

In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote at length about technology as an “accelerator.” It was important to note that the acceleration technology created could go in either direction. Companies with a clear vision and plan could use technology to improve outcomes rapidly, while those that did not have a solid foundation and invested heavily in technology “accelerated” their demise.

The world of education is probably not much different to these companies. Schools that have clear instructional goals, a solid foundational curriculum, and engaging practices can use technology to move from good to great.

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Topics: MimioVote assessment, classroom assessment

De-Stress Before the Test 

Posted by Kristy Nerstheimer on Tue, Apr 10, 2018

Spring is finally here! And with all the new buds and blooming flowers comes state testing. Sigh.

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Topics: tips for teachers, classroom assessment

Even More Great Assessment Tools

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Nov 8, 2017

A little while ago, we shared our 10 best assessment apps with you. This article highlighted a number of great tools to use for formative and summative assessments in the classroom.

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Topics: MimioVote assessment, Classroom Technology, classroom assessment

Designing a Learning Classroom

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Aug 30, 2017

As we look at our classrooms to arrange them for the start of the year, we should ask ourselves this reflective question: “What type of classroom do I want to create?” Or even better, “What type of learning environment do I want my students to experience?”

There are different answers to these questions, and multiple answers are correct. As a teacher, you must first teach from the heart—from your own heart, and not someone else’s opinion of what teaching should be. The environment that is created should not be gathered from Pinterest, but should sprout from your own philosophies about teaching and effective learning.

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Topics: 21st Century Skills, Classroom Management, Classroom Collaboration, classroom assessment

Making Standardized Testing a Positive Experience

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Wed, Apr 19, 2017

Snacks, games, songs, and assemblies—I’ve seen it all over the years when it comes to motivating students for high-stakes assessments. I’m not sure how effective any of it is, but teachers are willing to go all out when it comes to testing. Teachers know that these tests matter a great deal, so the extra effort and focus are worthwhile.

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Topics: classroom assessment, tips for teachers

Best Practices for Grading Tech Integration

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Apr 11, 2017

When it comes to technology, most schools don’t assign separate grades for “computing.” Most of us in the EdTech world probably wouldn’t suggest doing that anyway. Technology should be integrated rather than being treated as an add-on; it is just part of “what we do” in the classroom, and not a separate subject.

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Topics: classroom assessment, Classroom Technology, Education Technology, Technical Challenges

Engaging Ways to Formatively Assess Students

Posted by Kelly Bielefeld on Tue, Mar 21, 2017

One of the advantages to being a building principal is that I get to see what takes place in classrooms all around the school. I love seeing a great strategy in one classroom, then going to the next classroom and sharing it with another teacher. I think we can all agree that there is not nearly enough of this kind of sharing and collaboration in education. 

In our school, we have been studying different approaches to formative assessment in the classroom. We looked over about twenty-five different ideas for how to formatively assess, then I asked teachers to try one of the concepts in their classroom and provide me with feedback about the strategy. 

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Topics: classroom assessment, MimioMobile, Mobile Devices, MimioVote, MimioVote assessment

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