Show Me Boards: A Simple Idea for Informal Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of every teacher’s day. Whether it is formative or summative, we are assessing all day long. Assessment FOR learning (or formative assessment) is, in my opinion, the most important type of assessment. This is what drives your instruction by determining where students are at and where they need to go. This is the assessment that you do as you walk around the classroom, and as you talk with and observe students. This is the assessment that tells you who needs a bit of extra practice, and determines who you will work in a small group with for extra practice.

A great way to quickly determine who understands a concept and who still needs more practice is by using a “Show Me” board. Students can keep these in their desks along with a dry erase marker and used as a super-quick formative assessment. The best part – they are MUCH cheaper than those little individual white boards!


To create these, I simply cut pieces of white card stock and laminated them. I then put them inside a re-sealable bag along with a dry erase marker from the dollar store. Ta-da! Instant individual white boards for a fraction of the cost!


Use these Show Me boards before, during, or after a lesson for formative assessment. This will help you understand who understands the concept and who still needs more help.

For example, ask questions such as “Skip-count by 10’s to 100” or “Write two words that rhyme with ‘mat’,” or “Show me two equations that equal 15.” Students write on their board and hold it up for you to see. By quickly scanning the room, you will get an instant sense of which students are on track and which students still require more practice or teaching.



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