The following is a guest post by Education Associate Sean Farnum. Check out his bio below!
When I was in the classroom, no one ever accused me of being the best planner. Or the best at paperwork. Or the best at giving tests. Tests, ugh, right? All the stress? So much paper to work through, and the grades! Ugh, the grades! And then there’s the kids - they find tests stressful, too. Yeah, no, I wasn’t talking about how stressful tests are to kids. I find tests and grading to be super stressful. I’m not going to speak out against them, but I like the formative assessments. I like seeing the kids exploring, learning, messing up, and trying again. But anyway, enough philosophy - let’s get into the nitty gritty, how can I use Buncee to track student progress, and keep tabs on their learning?
The thing is, Buncee makes creation easy and fun for kids (and adults!), so having them show what they’re learning is a useful task. In my classroom, having students make artwork of what they’d learned was a longtime fun way of keeping my kids from overloading on classwork. Adding Buncee into the mix meant that it was not only easy to check their understanding, it was easy to help them fix their misconceptions because a quick edit is painless compared to starting over. Creating to show comprehension works great whether you’re making a Buncee to illustrate your vocabulary words (Slide 2) or using the drawing tool to create a quick diagram (Slide 3) of a new concept.
With Buncee’s extensive library of stickers, animations, and backgrounds, it’s simple for your students to use a graphic organizer to compare, contrast, analyze, or anything else that you’d have them use a graphic organizer to do. Just check under Educational Templates, Professional, Rubrics, or Templates in the backgrounds library, and you can find any number of charts, graphs, and rubrics! I’ve included a Venn Diagram comparing the characteristics of mammals and reptiles (Slide 4). As you can see, it’s simple to check a student’s understanding with a glance, and yet again, the large number of animals in Buncee’s sticker library makes decorating the diagram a delight for students.
Using Buncee for a student reflection journal (Slide 5) is a very direct way to gauge student learning. I’ll be honest you have to do a lot of groundwork to create a space where your students feel safe enough to be honest in their reporting. That said, not only is this a huge benefit for you, but the student self-awareness you gain leads to better learning choices.
Using the Multiple Choice Question and Free Response Question tools in Buncee, you can make a simple exit ticket or quiz (Slide 6). Now by popping your kids over Buncee at the end of a lesson or during a read aloud/novel study, you can get a quick check of where their heads are at.
Of course, one of the things that makes all of these easy for checking up on student understanding is the assignment feature in Buncee. By sending out an assignment to your students, you can just click on the assignment to check in on student work in a snap from your dashboard! Didn’t assign something? Or maybe a student didn’t click submit? No problem, you can click on their portfolio in your class, and see what they’re up to!
So when it’s time to check up on those kids, give them the answer they want to hear. My kids always used to say, “Can we do it in Buncee?” Yes, yes they can, and now you can keep track of their learning and adapt your teaching to keep them on track!
Sean Farnum is a teacher, troublemaker, the host of the #2PencilChat, and the producer of The #BestClass Podcast. He is an Education Associate at Buncee and runs the Buncee Ambassador Program. He thinks you’re pretty great.