Informal assessments allow teachers to track the ongoing progress of their students regularly and often. By using informal assessments, teachers can target students' specific problem areas, adapt instruction, and intervene earlier rather than later. Here are some types of informal assessments.

Anecdotal Records
Anecdotal Records represent informal written descriptions of a student's academic progress in the classroom involving a specific problem or area of difficulty.

Brainstorming is a technique used to determine what a student may already know about a particular topic. Students often feel free to participate because there is no criticism or judgment.

Checklists (e.g., Misconception/Preconception Checklist) specify student behavior or products expected during daily progression through the curriculum. Because observers check only the presence or absence of the product or behavior, checklists generally are reliable and relatively easy to use.

Debates enable the teacher to informally evaluate students' oral work by assessing their oral presentation skills in terms of their ability to understand concepts and present them to others in an orderly fashion.

Follow-up Questioning
Quality follow-up questions generated by either a teacher or student from an observation, comment, or prior question extend beyond simple rote memorization such as “What is...?” or “Where did…?”

Graphic Organizers
Graphic Organizers or concept maps provide students with a visual representation that supports their understanding of simple or complex processes. Sample graphic organizers include: T-charts, Venn diagrams, and KWL charts.

Perform either a structured or unstructured interview with one or more students to ascertain their understanding of a particular concept or process.

A Rubric provides written guidelines by which student work is assessed. Grading rubrics articulate...