• PixiMaths

TPT Favourites

My blog is fast becoming a place where I write down my lists of favourites…

Assessment for learning (or AfL as it’s commonly known) is a crucial part of lessons in my opinion and total participation techniques (or TPTs) are useful for ensuring no students slip through the cracks. When used effectively they can lead to great differentiation and progress.

These are some of my most used TPTs to assess for learning throughout the lesson, including resources needed and a rough idea of time required. I hope you can find something new to use, and if I’ve missed anything, please comment underneath.

I’ve split the list into TPTs that require students (or you) to have some form of technology, for example a tablet or a phone.



Time: 2 minutes (per question you ask)

Resources: Plickers QR codes, one phone/tablet with Plickers app

How it works: Download and print a class set of QR codes from www.plickers.com (I laminated mine so they last longer). Each QR code has A, B, C or D written on each side. Students hold the card up whichever way they need to answer multiple choice questions, ie. If the answer is C, they turn the QR code so C is at the top. Use the app to scan the room, and Plickers will count up how many students have answered with each option. My favourite thing about this tool is that it’s really really hard for students to copy each other!


Time: 10 minutes (unless students want to play again… and again!)

Resources: Projector, and each student will need a tablet or phone that can access the internet. Kahoot! App is optional.

How it works: Create your own quiz or use a ready-made one at create.kahoot.it – it’s really easy to use. Quizzes are multiple choice, with four possible answers for each question. Once you have created or chosen your quiz, share the code with your class and let the fun begin! I recommend telling your students to use their real names only, nicknames can lead to all sorts of problems that can take some of the fun out of it. After each question is answered, a leader-board is shown. Warning: it can get quite competitive!


Options Cards

Time: 30 seconds (per question you ask)

Resources: Print choice cards from www.piximaths.co.uk/miscellaneous-teaching-resources. I laminated mine to make them last longer (5 years so far!)

How it works: Lots of the PixiMaths PowerPoints have multiple-choice questions. I like to mix up using Plickers or my options cards. On the other side of the A, B, C and D cards are sad, unsure and smiley faces, coloured red, amber and green respectively. These can be used for true/false questions, always/sometimes/never questions, or just to assess students’ confidence with a topic or explanation.

Thumbs Up/Down

Time: As long as it takes to ask the question!

Resources: Just thumbs

How it works: Ask students how confident they are or how much they understand of a topic, and students show you thumbs up, down or halfway. Also works for true/false/unsure and always/sometimes/never. Quick and easy, requiring no planning.

Mini Whiteboards

Time: 2 – 5 minutes per question, depending on allocated thinking time

Resources: Mini whiteboards, whiteboard pens and erasers for all students

How it works: I’m pretty sure this one requires no explanation… They work similarly to everything described above, but more information can be shown including students’ working out. Maybe you want to see how far students can get in a given time rather than seeing a final answer.

RAG Planner Pages

Time: 1 – 2 minutes

Resources: Ask your leadership team to get them put in next year’s student planners if you don’t have them already

How it works: Similar to the sad, unsure and happy faces on the back of the options cards or thumbs up/down. Quick and easy to use and can fast become a routine part of the lesson so you can scan the room at any time to check for students’ understanding.

Think – Pair – Share

Time: 2 – 5 minutes per question, depending on allocated thinking time

Resources: None required

How it works: This can be used in conjunction with most other TPTs. Ask the class a question, give them time to think alone (30 seconds?), time to pair up and discuss their thoughts (2 – 3 minutes?), then nominate a few students to share ideas with the rest of the class. Your students may require training in the thinking and pairing part through the use of further question prompts. When used effectively, students are clearly very confident with sharing their ideas and have very little fear of ‘getting the answer wrong’.

Exit Tickets

Time: 5 minutes

Resources: Emoji exit ticket, Twitter exit ticket… so many more online; just Google it.

How it works: Students write down their key learning points and ideas from the lesson and can’t leave until they hand you the exit ticket at the door on the way out. Emphasise used of keywords to tick the literacy box too.

#totalparticipationtechniques #assessmentforlearning #afl #education #plenary #formativeassessment

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