Social Studies AssessmentAssessment is an essential but often overlooked element in Social Studies classrooms.  An effective teacher is constantly assessing student’s knowledge to guide instruction.  From bellringers to exit slips and everything in between, assessment is crucial!

Formative Assessments

I’m a rut kind of gal.  I find myself getting stuck in a rut and liking it.  Although bellringers and exit slips are great strategies to gauge student learning, there are a lot of other really great ideas out there.  Sidenote:  Check out some great bellringer strategies on my official bellringer page or my blog post “5 Tips for Better Bellringers”.

Recently, I’ve fallen in love with a website called Kahoot .  Kahoot allows you to create awesome formative assessments online for use in the classroom.  For those of you in schools where every student has a device, this is a fast and exciting way to review content and assess learning.  I have to settle for sharing a Chromebook cart with my team, but I use it every chance I get.  The great part is that you don’t have to create brand new quizzes.  There are over 9 million quizzes created by other users that you can steal.  I stole one about the branches of government about 5 minutes ago.  It was awesome and only took me about 30 seconds to do.  Similar websites that are free and easy to use include goformative and Quizizz .

I’ve always encouraged students to use to create notecards because of the variety of study options it provides.  They can create a practice quiz, play review games or just study the notecards the old fashioned way.  Recently though, quizlet added a LIVE version that allows teachers to use the study sets to play review games.  This is a great new feature to an already awesome website.

Summative Assessments

One of my favorite resources for creating summative assessments is Triand.  This is not a free service, but it’s one my school has purchased a subscription for.  When I create my own quiz questions, I sometimes lose objectivity and may word questions so that students are simply recognizing the answer.  Triand provides a vast database of all types of questions that you can use to see if students really know their stuff.

If you didn’t want to subscribe to this service, there are several websites online where you can find released standardized test questions.  These can achieve the same goal but it may take you longer to find the questions you need.

Literacy Based Assessments

State standards based on the C3 Framework include literary elements that must be addressed in the Social Studies classroom.  With them comes the necessity to assess students ability to find, use and cite sources and interpret primary and secondary sources.  There are several websites online that provide literacy based assessments with Social Studies content.

Newsela is a website that uses current events articles to assess student’s reading comprehension.  It’s a great strategy to incorporate both the study of current events and literacy instruction in the classroom.

Another great resource for literacy assessments comes from the fine folks at Stanford History Group in the website Beyond the Bubble.  They provide primary and secondary sources along with the assessment tools and questions.

These are a few literacy based assessments I’ve created:

Transcontinental Railroad Assessment – article, reading questions and extended response question based on perspectives of native Americans and white settlers.

See related links for more assessment ideas!

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