The One Minute Paper is commonly used as a classroom assessment technique in some schools.
It does what it says on the tin and takes just a minute or less. It is normally done at the end of a lesson and its obvious advantage is that it provides rapid feedback on strengths, weaknesses and issues. By asking children to add a question at the end, this quick-fire assessment provides plenty of information, dialogue and prompts for next steps.
This assessment strategy is one of many quick “classroom assessment techniques” (CATs) designed to provide teachers with useful and anonymous feedback.
The One Minute Assessment is a very adaptable tool but it needs to be kept simple. Overloading it with questions defeats the purpose. Two questions will be enough and the option to ask a question at the end. For example,
1. What are the two (or more) most surprising (interesting, useful, unexpected, meaningful, disturbing, significant) things you have learned during this lesson?
2. Is there anything you do not understand?
3. What question(s) do you want to ask me?
You can play around with the questions to suit your own needs. Other questions to pose include:
- What do you think the main purpose of today’s lesson was?
- What do you think was the most important message or idea communicated in today’s lesson?
- What was the most important concept you learned in class today?
- What stands out the most in your mind about today’s lesson
- What was the most unexpected idea you came across in your groups discussion?
- What was the most useful idea discussed in today’s activity?
- What example in today’s class could you relate to the most?
- What was the most convincing argument that you heard expressed in today’s discussion?
- Was there a view expressed today that you strongly disagreed with or found unsettling?
- Have you changed personal opinion or viewpoint about something you heard today?
It’s As Clear As Mud!
Another way that the One Minute Assessment idea has been used has been as ‘The Muddiest Point’ or ‘The Foggiest Point’.
When children are learning anything new then they can get ‘stuck’ or the waters appear muddy and unclear. Things can also get foggy and misty and unsurprisingly you might hear someone say “I haven’t the foggiest!”
So, you can simply ask “What was the ‘muddiest point’ for you today?” as a way of getting at what children found difficult, challenging or impossible to see. This can helpfully inform your planning for the next lesson and red flag issues that it may be useful to explore.
Quick one minute assessments are essential for children to reflect back and think more deeply about the most important concepts discussed in a lesson. They also alert you to what needs to be addressed and planned for the following day.