Have you ever finished a classroom project and wondered how it went?

Our research indicates that students want to be heard and have a meaningful voice in the classroom. Inquiring Minds has developed a very simple fun tool that allows students to give instant feedback: The Next Time MadLib.

One 5th grade classroom teacher recounted a situation when her student offered up a different way to teach the lesson they had just completed. She told Inquiring Minds that she loved hearing this because it meant that if the student could think of a better way to teach the lesson, he completely understood what the lesson was she was teaching.

Assessment is critical to understanding what knowledge students have gained from the class. And how to assess this in an inquiry-based classroom space is under discussion right now. Our hypothesis is that getting regular feedback—not just tests—creating realtime feedback loops might be one important way for teachers to assess learning.

Collaboration does not come naturally to all students. Deploying this tool gives teachers a simple way to check and address teamwork building skills. Additionally, it builds constructive criticism muscles—undeniably this is an important work and life skill.

For group projects—The Next Time asks students to evaluate themselves and each other, providing an even playing field for everyone to be heard, an important factor in developing student agency.

It’s a small thing—The Next Time—but we think it can be powerful in its application. Try it and let us know how it works for you in your classroom.

AuthorMonica Snellings