Digital Assessment in the Classroom

Stop & Jots, Portfolios, and Conferences

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We are excited to announce that our new book, "From Pencils to Podcasts" will be published by Solution Tree in August.

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formative assessment

  • "Feed forward” by using assessment data to plan future instruction (Fisher &Frey, 2009).

  • Dynamic formative assessment provides teachers and students with useful feedback to support continuous growth (International Literacy Association, 2013).

  • Feedback should be constructive, specific, and be helpful to students (Roskos & Neuman, 2012).

  • Active involvement in the learning and assessment process makes it more meaningful.

Assessing Comprehension with Stop & Jots


  • Free online cork board to post sticky notes, photos, and videos from YouTube and Vimeo to multiple canvases.

  • Customize sticky notes, create multiple boards, and share work through social media.

lino introduction

Begin with modeling

  • Modeled how to record thinking of "Home of the Brave" by Applegate using Lino. Then, each day during the read aloud for the next two weeks, students recorded their thinking using Lino.

  • Students made connections with the main character, Kek as they experienced moving to a new state and learning English.

  • They analyzed and compared characters and lifted favorite lines from the text.

  • One student demonstrated his development of a world view by considering privilege in the United States.

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Window into student thinking during independent reading

  • Below, notice how this student demonstrates basic comprehension of story events but is ready to dig deeper with inferential thinking.

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Teacher Response

Hi Natasha, from looking at your post-its I see that you're a very observant reader and you jot down subtle events that are happening in the story. For instance, you wrote that Jessie would play with the boys but one by one, they left her to go play something else. I noticed that too! I think you are ready now to write about what this makes you think is really happening in the story. This is called inferring. What can you infer is the reason why the boys are leaving Jessie? Whenever you jot down another important event, I'd love to see you also add what this makes YOU think about the event. One way you can do this is by saying something like "I think this is happening because…" Give it a shot!

Digital Portfolios to collect, evaluate, and share

See Saw

  • Free digital learning journal appropriate for children as young as five years old.

  • Share audio of oral reading, videos of performances, photos of published writing, self-evaluation of projects, reflection/goal setting, and a myriad of other uses!

  • Viewers can “like” and leave comments on the posted work.

  • Regular communication makes a stronger home-school partnership by keeping the parents abreast of students’ progress and involving them in providing feedback to the child.

SeeSaw to self-evaluate fluency

  • 3rd grader read text multiple times and evaluated his fluency noting accuracy, expression and phrasing.

  • After listening to the recording, he noted that his reading was good since he read all of the words correctly but it lacked expression.

  • He read and recorded it a second time. He noticed that the second reading was “good because he made his voice sound like the people were talking.”

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Conferring: The Heart of Teaching

Confer (now Snapfolio)

  • With the full version, import class lists to take notes on each student for all subject areas (using templates or the blank note-taking page).

  • View students’ information by name, date, reading level, tag, strength, teaching point, or next step.

  • Benefits:

    • Shows which students have or have not had a recent conference.

    • Sort notes by similar tag, strength, teaching point or next step to determine similar instructional needs.

    • Notice trends based on like needs to design appropriate instruction.

    • Group students based on common next steps to foster collaboration and guided support in small group instructional settings.

    • Share information easily via email or upload to a Google account to create a spreadsheet with the information.

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Conference conversation

  • Teacher: What are your goals as a writer today?

  • Cooper: I am writing about last weekend.

  • Teacher: Will you read your writing to me? [After listening to Cooper read his story…] I like the way you write with such details, Cooper. You tell us a lot about your weekend. What do you want the reader to mostly know about? In other words, what is the heart of your story?

  • Cooper: Well, I had fun with my friend but I guess the best part is getting my new dog, Sparta.

  • Teacher: So the highlight of your weekend was spending time with your dog. This is the heart of your story. Sometimes I use different revision techniques to make my writing better. One strategy I like is to highlight the heart of the story and develop a new piece just around that idea. You could reread your writing and then draw a box around the part of the story you want to develop.

  • Cooper: I think it should start at the part about Saturday since that is when I say we got our dog.

  • Teacher: Ok, can you show me that part?

  • [Cooper points to that section and begins to draw a box around it (see Figure 2).]

  • Teacher: Great job, Cooper! Now that you’ve highlighted this section, what do you think you’ll do next?

  • Cooper: I’m going to keep writing from this part so my story is all about getting my new dog, Sparta!

  • Teacher: Great! You may even want to consider cutting and pasting this part on a new page to start writing from that part in your story. I look forward to reading your new story about Sparta!

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Continue with Cooper

Pick up a copy of From Pencils to Podcasts to read about Cooper's strengths (S), teaching points (TP), and next steps (NS) as well as ideas about using other digital tools to collect data and enhance conferences.

Dr. Katie Stover

Assistant Professor

Furman University

Dr. Lindsay Yearta

Assistant Professor

Winthrop University