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Conversation Calendars

Need a way to build a relationship with your students? Try conversation calendars.

Need a formative assessment? Try conversation calendars.

Need a grade? Try conversation calendars.

Yes, I’m using conversation calendars this year in history. For the first time. And loving it! 🙂

Cris Tovani is the creator/maker of this awesome tool. You can follow her on twitter here https://twitter.com/ctovani or visit her website here http://www.tovanigroup.com/. She is awesome! All intermediate and upper level teachers need to read her books! I’ve got:

1. So What Do They Really Know-a book about assessment

2. Do I Really Have to Teach Reading-content literacy

Great reads!

So here is a picture of a few of our conversation calendars from the beginning of school.


Here are a couple of closeups:


This is how they work in my classroom. The kids get a new blank calendar every Monday. This is their “bellringer” that we are required to do at my school. I have already written 2 questions at the top of the calendar that come from our daily outcomes for that week. They have to answer both questions by Friday. Each question is worth 50 points for a total grade of 100.

If they attempt to answer the question and don’t get all of it correct they have until Friday to add more. 🙂 Formative assessment people!

Each day I write back to each student. Not a lot. Just some kind of response. It takes me about 45 minutes-1 hour to do all 4 classes-total of 76 students. It’s not as labor intensive as it sounds. In fact, it’s fun. 🙂

This is the home of our conversation calendars:

This is the best thing since sliced bread folks! Formative assessment at its BEST!

Do you use conversation calendars in your classroom?

Do you use formative assessments to see what your kids know before testing?


6 thoughts on “Conversation Calendars

  1. This week for 6th grade the 2 questions are:

    1. Name 2 events that caused the American Revolution.
    2. Briefly explain the importance of the US Constitution.

    That’s what we are studying this week, and they are 2 of our daily outcomes for the week so everything ties in together.

    LOVE this! 🙂

    • Christy,

      Yes, the conversation calendars are from Cris’ book which is FABULOUS!! I will keep those posts coming about running since I’m registered for my 1st half marathon. OMG! 🙂

  2. I really like this idea for a lot of good reasons . . . Students see it as easy . . . Gives each student a voice . . . Gets them writing . . . When you’re writing, you’re thinking . . . Forces student to be brief . . . Creates one-on-one w/teacher . . . My favorite – develops community. I want to work in visual language also.

    • Great reasons Glenda! My ONLY problem last year was 77 students. Responding every day. I only have 18 this year. Should be no problem.

      I’m wanting to add a heading at the top that says-

      I know and wonder.

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