2 Minute Assessments

Seriously. How much can you assess in just two minutes? How much valuable feedback can you glean in that short a time. Well, quite a bit as it turns out. And, it’s pretty painless to do.

2 minute assessment preview
(click on the picture to get a larger version if desired)

There are a number of ways you can pull this off. Create a bulletin board near the exit of the room in the four square pattern and leave stacks of sticky notes all over the room for kids to anonymously fill out and post.


Paint your door in a high gloss white paint and use dry erase markers to turn it into the four square pattern where kids can place the sticky notes on the way out the door. This allows you to utilize the door for other collaborative, creative, educational uses.

I wish I knew the original source for this (if you know please leave a comment) so I can give full attribution, but it is just another great idea I picked up following the #PBLchat on Twitter on Tuesday nights. I believe the Twitter user I got it form was Andrew Miller of BIE fame.

Bloom’s as a Butterfly

As you know, Bloom’s was updated a few years back. This nice little poster from Learning Today does a great job or reminding you of the layers of Bloom”s as they get deeper and deeper into true levels of understanding. Where do your assignments fall into this chart?

The Blooming Butterfly poster by Learning Today is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

History….the greatest story never told…just Xeroxed

A colleague on Twitter shared this comment recently:

My son is learning about some of the coolest events in U.S. History and it’s all via worksheets.

That is a pretty sad, but telling statement. A subject where kids continually decry, “Why should we care about what happened in the past?” Instead of letting them discover why they should care, they might end up getting worksheeted to death.

Another colleague on Twitter replied with this:

Wow. Simply, wow. This would be my syllabus every single year. Think of how much great history could come from the mouths of students who discovered what they missed and why it was important to them. Nobody is telling them what they have to know. They are discovering it on their own. Then they’re sharing it with the world.

Essential questions. Driving Questions. Inquiry. History can be the greatest story ever told.

Then again, you might get some really industrious student who wants to put his/her own (modern media) spin on history, like this:


Hmm. Entry Event, anyone?

What are you doing to your students?

If you have any interest in engaging in a conversation with an individual who will challenge you to think harder and teach smarter, then you need to meet my friend Bud Hunt. Start with this bit of wisdom.

Learning isn’t something you do to somebody. It’s about creating opportunities. The learner has to, at some point, engage the experience.

Bud Hunt, @budtheteacher

Video as an Entry Event

One of the key things you can do as the classroom facilitator in a PBL environment is utilize great Entry Events to get the kids excited about the upcoming project. This can be something you find already created, or you can have a little fun making your own. Using a waterproof camera, iMovie’s Movie Trailer template, and a little weekend fun time, my son and I created this video short for an Outdoor/Wilderness Survival unit for his fifth grade class.