Pre-Assessment for Differentiation


Pre-Assessments are an integral component in effective lessons because they allow us to differentiate instructions in ways that truly meet student needs. They are typically administered at the beginning of a unit or lesson to determine student prior knowledge. By utilizing the resulting data, teachers can make necessary adjustments to help all students meet the standards and objectives through a meaningful process.

What is the Purpose of Pre-Assessment?



Unit Objectives


For this unit, I created a pre-assessment quiz using Kahoot. The results will provide useful data to inform any alterations or required differentiation.

(Click Here to view Pre-Assessment)


Differentiation by Readiness

Student Data:

  • 5 students answered most, including the most difficult, of the pre-assessment questions correctly
  • 12 students have some knowledge about the topic as shown in their score, but need to develop higher order thinking skills
  • 5 students appear to have limited knowledge about the topic


(Link to Mind Map)

Innovative Differentiation Strategies

1. Scaffolding: I will use a variety of techniques to move struggling students progressively toward stronger understanding of the content.

  • Provide clear, concise instructions that are broken down into manageable steps and provide  regular feedback.
  •  Use the “I do” “We do” “you do” to help students who  benefit from seeing something in action before doing it themselves. 
  • Think-Pair-Share activity allows auditory students to rephrase the concepts in their own words, describe them to their peers, and thus solidify the new information in their minds through an auditory intake process.


2. Video: For students who require assistance in order to develop higher order thinking skills, I will implement a flipped classroom method. 

  • Have students watch khan academy, youtube, or other videos at home to introduce a lesson or topic. This will cut down on “lecture” time and increase the time available for assignments or projects in class with the teacher available to assist or facilitate. 
  • Entry ticket: As strategy is based on a flipped classroom method, the teacher will ask students to turn in the provided worksheet/graphic organizer that accompanied the video they should have watched the day before.


3. Learning Menus: This gives students multiple options and embeds choices into the learning process. They complete 1 of the appetizers, 1 of the entrees, and students who finish can also complete one of the dessert activities.

  • Example: Have the students write a reflective journal in which they address how they felt during each “acting out” piece. “Why would people strive to have a say in their government?”   
  • Appetizer Choices: With a partner discuss and mind map the question above.  
  • Entree Choices: Essay form, paired discussion and mind map, animation (rawshorts), etc..
  • Dessert Choices (Optional): Illustration of essay, digital storyboard  (storyboardThat), webquest, etc..


3. Enrichment Station: For those students that might finish the required assignments early, the teacher will have an area in the back of the room (enrichment station) with extra books and materials on Ancient Greece that students can look through according to their own interests. D’aulaires Book of Greek Myths and webquests would be an excellent choice for this enrichment station.

Ongoing Assessments

It’s important to do continuous assessment throughout the unit to ensure students who started in the upper echelon don’t regress or stagnate. Assessment will take the form of exit slips, timeline construction, “Grab Bag Quiz”, student journals, think-pair-share, group discussion, role-play, online quizzes and games, and simulations. At the end of the unit there will be a summative assessment exam as well as a project to determine the final marks.

Summative Assessment

For the project, groups of students will design a commercial and social media campaign . They will brainstorm, create, and display their end product: a social media campaign. This project will take place over a series of weeks. Students will be expected to work on the project during given class time. But collaboration and completing work outside of class will also be expected. 

Students will be given various choices on the final product of their project. Each team must follow the rubric, but they can decide how they want to deliver the campaign. They might choose from:

  • Musical students could write and perform a music video
  • Typical TV commercial/interview
  • Movie trailer style video
  • Animated video
  • A skit in front of the class

In Future Lessons

Peer Feedback and Revision: Before students break up into their small groups to work on the project they will discuss peer revision and feedback. Students and teacher will discuss and create a rubric for self-revision, and also a rubric for groups to evaluate each others work before submitting a final product.


Presentation Day: Each group will have the opportunity to display their design  and final product. The class will vote on which presentation they thought was the most “persuasive”.

 Journal: Students will write a reflection on the process, how they did on the project, and why they personally voted for a certain project.



5. Pre-assessment Ideas – Differentiation & LR Information for SAS Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved May 11, 2017, from

Bell, D. (n.d.). Renaissance Teacher Work Samples Consortium. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from

Submitted by: Idaho State University Grade Level: 4th Subject: Social Science and Humanities

University, C. M. (n.d.). Assessing Prior Knowledge. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from





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