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4 Corners- A Kinesthetic Preassessment

4 Corners instructional strategy

4 Corners is a strategy typically used to build students’ anticipation for new content.  You can use it to gauge students knowledge and comfort with a topic before you begin teaching.  But, one of my favorite ways to review a skill is to use the 4 Corners strategy. I like it because it gets the kids up and moving. I also like it because your kids can hide within the pack if they aren’t confident about an answer. It’s super easy to change to meet your needs and personalize a bit.  Here’s how it works:

First, you label the four corners of your room. With review, I use multiple choice options a, b, c, d.  As a preassessment, you would label each corner with a level of comfort.  You could also come up with fun names for each corner.
1) A little minnow (struggling with the content)
2) A goldfish (feeling a little strong)
3) A catfish (big, bad and content)
4) A shark (I’ve got this under control)

Second, you ask the students a question and give corresponding answers.

Third, students move to the corner that represents an answer that they think is correct or the corner describing their comfort.

I always make the students explain the answer to reinforce what they’re learning if you’re reviewing. For your students who are struggling, they get to practice but if they don’t know an answer, they can just follow the group and listen for the explanation. By doing this activity, all students are involved and it gets the kids up and moving for a couple minutes.  I’ve also used it to create groups by offering students choices between 4 options.

Basically, you can use this strategy any way to have students make a choice.  Do you use 4 Corners in your classroom?  I’d love to hear some other ideas in the comments.

4 Corners assessment strategy



  • I love using four corners in my bilingual classroom to review vocabulary (like parts of a flower, shapes, water cycle, etc). For example, I'll have a student count down from 10 with eyes closed, then when they get to zero they choose one of the four options. The rest of the class has to find a corner, any corner, while the student who is "it" counts. The students who are in the corner that was called, have to sit down, every round there are less students until there is one left and then that student is "it". Although it doesn't get them thinking about why they chose it, the students hear the vocabulary repeated about 30 times in 10 minutes. There are pictures are each corner to reinforce the meaning of the world. I do this with my language learning Kinders so vocabulary repetition is super important. I love your idea about using it to gauge their knowledge about a topic beforehand for preassessment or as a little quiz.

  • This is a great idea that I am adding to a word document of new things to try this year. I find I forget the ideas over the summer so hopefully having them in one place will help me really try it. Thanks.

  • This was an awesome post. I love the suggestions giving for naming each corner…that will fit my ocean-themed room perfectly!!!


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