Every teacher knows the end-of-the-unit drill: TESTS. And just like that, the groans echo around the room. Let’s face it, traditional testing isn’t always the most engaging or accurate way to see what our students have absorbed. That’s where our superhero, Summative Assessment Ideas, comes in, swooping down to save us all from the monotonous and often dreaded routine of standard exams!
What are Summative Assessments?
Summative assessments are like those candid shots photographers love to capture – they give us a geniune glimpse into what our students have learned throughout a unit or term. Imagine how much more we could understand about our students’ learning if we took time to capture a range of these candid shots, rather than relying on the formal, posed (and often stressed) portraits of standard tests.
In essence, summative assessments are a method of evaluation used to measure a student’s understanding, knowledge, or skills at the end of a unit, term, or academic year.
Summative assessments are employed at strategically planned points during the academic year. They are used to determine whether the objectives of the educational program have been met, and if the learning outcomes align with the set of curriculum standards. These assessments not only allow us to review and grade student performance, but they also help us refine and adjust our teaching strategies. They are essential to ensure that learning is taking place and that it’s effective and impactful.
Gone are the days when assessments were merely limited to standardized tests or weekly quizzes. With creativity and innovation, we can make this process exciting and comprehensive. Here are 15 creative summative assessment examples that you can implement in your elementary classroom.
15 Summative Assessment Ideas for Elementary Students
1. Create a Trailer or Video
Students will create an orginal video or movie trailer explaining the topic.
2. Create an Anchor Chart or Poster Board
Students will create an anchor chart or poster that integrates graphics and texts to teach the topic.
3. Create a Comic Strip
Students will create a 10-frame comic strip. The focus should be on teaching the topic throughout the comic strip.
4. Create a Podcast
Students can create a radio-style podcast report that highlights details about your topic.
5. Build a Model or Diorama
Students can create a model or diorama to show what you’ve learned about the topic. Include index cards or sticky notes to explain extra facts or information.
6. Write a Song, Skit, Poem, or Play.
Students will write (and peform, if they want!) a song, poem, skit, or play that teaches the topic at hand.
7. Create your Own Board Game.
Design your own board game or use one of these templates to help you. Students will create question cards and answers to show what they’ve learned. Bonus tip: Give students time in class to play their created games with other students!
8. Create an Art Collage
Students can create a collage using a variety of images and words to visually show what they’ve learned about the topic.
9. Become a News Reporter
Allow students to write out their news report, record it, and/or present it to their classmates to show what they’ve learned.
11. Make a Google Slides or PowerPoint Show
Students can create a presentation that includes text and images to teach key points about the topic.
12. Write Your Own Test Questions & Answer Key
Instead of taking a traditional test, students can actually write their own test questions. The important part here is that they also include an answer key!
13. Write an Essay
I know this one can seem boring, but some students who enjoy writing will excel with this. Students will write a 4- or 5- paragraph essay about the topic.
14. Design an Advertisement
Students can create a radio ad, magazine ad, or a TV commercial to share key points about the topic.
15. Create a Google Site
Studetns can create a website that teaches about the topic in a creative way.
Yes, these projects can often be more time-consuming to grade. Yes, it often takes up valuable class time. But I have discovered that it is worth it every.single.time.
BONUS TIP! Create a rubric so you and your students will know exactly how to get a good grade and show what they’ve learned. It may help to also create a checklist for students to know exactly what topics they need to cover in their project tohow that they’ve accomplished the task.
Story time: I’ve had several students like this throughout my career, but let’s name this one Carlos. Carlos was disengaged during traditional tests. He always knew he wasn’t a great preformer on tests, so why try? I turned a traditional paper-pencil test into a project-based assessment, and Carlos blossomed! His creativity showed as he designed an eco-friendly city model for a social studies project. He detailed the reasoning behind every element and showed deep understanding far better than any multiple-choice test could. That’s when I realized creative summative assessments need to happen in my classroom.
Let’s treat summative assessments like a blank canvas and let our students paint a comprehensive picture of their knowledge and understanding. It’s our job to step away from the “same old, same old” and explore how we can best engage our young learners. Sure, it might be new, and it might be a bit daunting, but remember the transformation of your students when they are given the opportunity to shine. So let’s dive in, get creative, and allow our students to surprise us with what they can truly achieve. After all, we’re all here to discover and nurture their potential, one engaging assessment at a time!
Read about 15 Formative Assessment Ideas For Elementary Students HERE!
👇SAVE THESE IDEAS ON PINTEREST 👇