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Options that are not discussion-based

EL Education Core Practice 29: Checking for Understanding in Daily Instruction


  • Ask sequenced, pre-planned strategic questions that deepen critical thinking and build students’ understanding of the concept or skill in the lesson.
  • Require students to use evidence from the text or data sets to support their answers.
  • Debrief lessons to help students reflect upon their individual or collective progress.
  • [Monitor] what students collectively know or can do and identify common misconceptions; periodically pause instruction to address misconceptions.

Text-Based Formative Assessments

Using Inner Orbit

+ Next Generation Science Standards aligned

+ Provides opportunity to create do nows, exit slips, quizzes, and tests through text-based tasks

+ Wide range of topics to pick from

Using Actively Learn

+ Allows you to chunk a text and embed questions

+ Integrates with Google Classroom

+ Teacher can upload a text or use something from a library of published texts (classics, nonfiction, etc); great for world language tasks

Using News ELA

+ Similar functions as Actively Learn, including the ability to embed close reading questions 

+ Offers up to 5 different lexile levels of the same text for differentiation

+ Creates quizzes for all texts

+ Has bank of readings related to EL Education Literacy Curriculum (separate level of access and may not be free to schools)

Audio-Video Student Responses

Using Flipgrid

+ Allows students to respond to a prompt through a brief video and respond to each other’s videos through a video

+ Easy to launch, no accounts needed

+ Cell phone compatible

+ Videos are taken directly; does not require use of data from devices to upload 

+ Students have option to add “stickers” to their video (emojis, words, etc)

+ Helps you add variety to the types of tasks you assign, switch modalities

Δ Students are able to see each other’s videos without teachers’ prior review

Δ May require some preparation and norming. As video is a relatively new classroom format, students may unintentionally demonstrate behavior deemed “inappropriate,” feel self-conscious about their appearance, etc.

See More Tools & Resources

Online Tools for Virtual Project-Based Learning


Discussion Tools



Asynchronous Teaching Tools: Facilitating Students Leading Their Own Learning


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