Today we are going to stick with the formative assessment theme, although by the end of it all we are going to have some summative assessment vibes too.

In this specific instance, I want students to read about the COVID-19 crisis in Italy in order to gain a little insight into what they (we) may experience in the United States as the weeks progress. I started by locating a free article on to anchor my assignment with. I love Newsela because not only does it have a huge library of expository texts, it also provides these texts at different reading levels.

Next, I determined that I wanted to use a Before Reading strategy to get students thinking about the topic prior to reading. An Anticipation Guide is a great way to do this.

Normally, I would print these on paper and ask the students to complete them in pencil, but we are online only now, so I was faced with the task of moving this research-based reading strategy to a digital format. Luckily, with Google Classroom and GDocs, this is an easy transition.

When designing graphic organizers in GDocs, I always start with TABLES. I love them because they help order and structure the space. You can also use colors and fonts that provide high contrast and help to call out specific parts of the page. Check out the design of my Anticipation Guide here and look at how the table helps to structure the learning sequence for students.

In this particular Anticipation Guide, I am asking students to do something BEFORE they read and then something AFTER they read, but you do not have to follow this exact procedure every time you use an Anticipation Guide.

For the BEFORE READING part of the lesson, I provide students with a variety of statements related to what they will read. They are tasked with predicting if the statements are TRUE or NOT TRUE. I provide directions for students to use the LEFT CLICK, LEFT CLICK, RIGHT CLICK method to indicate their prediction. Shout out to Eric Curts for all his wonderful GAFE videos and tutorials! This guy is top notch and knows his ish!

AFTER READING, I ask students to cite evidence they found in the article that supports or contradicts their predictions. Not only is this an important skill for students to practice, it also serves as a sort of summative assessment and helps me determine is students are comprehending what they read.

Once I have my Anticipation Guide designed, I’m ready to move it and the article into an ASSIGNMENT in my Google Classroom. Here, I am able to name my assignment, set a due date, provide other information and push the assignment to all the students in my class.

Of course, this post hasn’t covered all the ins and outs of every little step you will take in the design process, but hopefully it has shed a little light on how you can continue to implement research-based strategies, like Anticipation Guides, in the online environment. If you have questions, feel free to tweet me. Like everyone else, I am online quite a bit these days! Please continue to take care of yourself and your community!