Madly Learning

Make a Bump It Up Board For Better Classroom Assessment

Making assessments meaningful can sometimes be challenging, especially when students are unsure of the criteria against which they are being evaluated. Over the years, I’ve found that a Bump It Up Board is an effective tool for clarifying these criteria and actively involving students in the assessment process.

Bump It Up Board: Enhancing Classroom Engagement

A Bump It Up Board is more than just a bulletin board; it’s a visual and interactive representation of assessment criteria. It utilizes exemplars of student writing to demonstrate the expected standards at various levels. The goal is to make the abstract concept of “improvement” concrete, offering students a clear path to elevate their skills from one level to the next. This approach demystifies the criteria for success, encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.

Bump It Up Board for Classroom Assessment

Why Use a Bump It Up Board in Your Classroom?

In addition to demystifying assessment criteria, here are more reasons to adopt this innovative tool:

Involving Students in the Assessment Process

Engaging students in the assessment process is crucial. Through discussions about what constitutes quality work—whether it’s a story, report, or any other project—students develop a shared understanding of excellence. This collaborative approach ensures that assessment is not just about receiving a grade but about ongoing learning and improvement.

What You Need to Create a Bump It Up Board

Creating a Bump It Up Board in your classroom is straightforward. Here’s what you need:

Implementing the Bump It Up Board in Your Classroom

A bump it up board can be used with any assignment that you might use in the classroom.  If your students are completing monthly writing tasks from our Ignited Literacy Program, or a Weekly Inquiry Math task from Ignited Math, or even a science and social studies mini project a bump it up board can help students understand how they will be assessed.

  1. Start with Success Criteria: Collaborate with your students to establish clear success criteria for the task at hand. This sets a foundation for understanding what makes a good piece of work.
  2. Provide Practice Opportunities: Give students ample time to practice their skills before formal assessment. This builds confidence and provides a richer context for discussing assessment criteria.
  3. Moderate with Samples: Use student writing samples to review the success criteria together. Encourage students to critique the work, assign it a level, and justify their reasoning. This process not only helps in reinforcing the success criteria but also in developing critical thinking and evaluative skills.

Why Use a Bump It Up Board?

A Bump It Up Board is more than a visual aid; it’s a pathway for student improvement. Unlike traditional rubrics that might only provide a final score, this board outlines specific strategies and steps for students to enhance their skills. It transforms the assessment process into a constructive, interactive, and motivational journey towards academic excellence.


For additional resources and detailed instructions on setting up and using a Bump It Up Board in your classroom, including downloadable headers for your board, you can visit [insert link here]. Discover how this innovative tool can make a difference in your classroom assessment practices and foster a more engaging and effective learning environment.

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