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Formative Assessments

Formative Assessments
"If you can both listen to children and accept their answers not as things to just be judged right or wrong but as pieces of information which may reveal what the child is thinking, you will have taken a giant step toward becoming a master teacher, rather than merely a disseminator of information." -Easley & Zwoyer, 1975 Proof Points Black and William (1998), two leading authorities on the importance of teachers maintaining a practice of on-going formative assessment, defined it as, “all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by the students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.” Formative assessment encompasses a variety of strategies to determine student progress toward achieving specified learning goals. The strategies for investigating student learning identified below provide different types of data from and about students. How Do I Know What I Know? Is That a Fact?

Why Formative Assessments Matter Summative assessments, or high stakes tests and projects, are what the eagle eye of our profession is fixated on right now, so teachers often find themselves in the tough position of racing, racing, racing through curriculum. But what about informal or formative assessments? Are we putting enough effort into these? What Are They? Informal, or formative assessments are about checking for understanding in an effective way in order to guide instruction. They are used during instruction rather than at the end of a unit or course of study. What this means is that if we are about getting to the end, we may lose our audience, the students. We are all guilty of this one -- the ultimate teacher copout: "Are there any questions, students?" Ever assign the big project, test, or report at the end of a unit and find yourself shocked with the results, and not in a good way? To Inform, Not Punish Believe me, I've been there: wanting to punish the lazy, the cocky, the nonchalant. When and How? Exit Slips

The concept of formative assessment. Boston, Carol Carol Boston ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation University of Maryland, College Park While many educators are highly focused on state tests, it is important to consider that over the course of a year, teachers can build in many opportunities to assess how students are learning and then use this information to make beneficial changes in instruction. This diagnostic use of assessment to provide feedback to teachers and students over the course of instruction is called formative assessment. It stands in contrast to summative assessment, which generally takes place after a period of instruction and requires making a judgment about the learning that has occurred (e.g., by grading or scoring a test or paper). This article addresses the benefits of formative assessment and provides examples and resources to support its implementation. Purpose and Benefits of Formative Assessment Examples of Formative Assessment Teachers might also assess students' understanding in the following ways:

Formative assessment Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides explicit feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment is a method of continually evaluating students’ academic needs and development within the classroom and precedes local benchmark assessments and state-mandated summative assessments. Teachers who engage in formative assessments give continual, explicit feedback to students and assist them in answering the following questions: Where am I going? Where am I now? How can I close the gap between the two? In order to show students how to close the gap between where they are academically and where they want to be, teachers must help students evaluate their progress in the learning process and give them explicit, descriptive feedback specific to the learning task. History of formative assessments Learning Progressions Learning Goals and Criteria for Success

Assessment for Learning (AfL) Strategies AfL || Sharing Learning Expectations || Questioning || Feedback || Self-Assessment & Peer Assessment Sharing Learning Expectations The best way for teachers to share learning expectations is, well, to know them. Start with your state standards. Once you have your standards figured out you need to back up. This is a sample Science learning progressions for the learning of insects. Too BIG – “Students know that: Earth is a system that contains a fixed amount of each stable chemical element existing in different chemical forms. Yeah! Too small – “Students know that energy can be transferred from one place to another.” What makes this too small for a learning target is the fact that it’s too low on bloom’s taxonomy that students know energy can be transferred. Just right - “Students are expected to sort plants and animals according to their structures (e.g. presence of hair, feathers, or scales on their skin) and behaviors (e.g. grazing, hunting or diving for food).” Back to the TOP Feedback 1.

Summative assessment Summative assessments are cumulative evaluations used to measure student growth after instruction and are generally given at the end of a course in order to determine whether long term learning goals have been met. Summative assessments are not like formative assessments, which are designed to provide the immediate, explicit feedback useful for helping teacher and student during the learning process. High quality summative information can shape how teachers organize their curricula or what courses schools offer their students. Although there are many types of summative assessments, the most common examples include: State-mandated assessments District benchmark or interim assessments End-of-unit or -chapter tests End-of-term or -semester exams Scores that are used for accountability for schools (AYP) and students (report card grades) According to the North Carolina Public Schools, summative assessments are often created in the following formats:

What Are Formative Assessments and Why Should We Use Them? | Scholastic.com - Nightly "Informative assessment isn't an end in itself, but the beginning of better instruction." —Carol Ann Tomlinson Traditionally, we have used assessments to measure how much our students have learned up to a particular point in time. Since formative assessments are considered part of the learning, they need not be graded as summative assessments (end-of-unit exams or quarterlies, for example) are. When I work with teachers during staff development, they often tell me they don't have time to assess students along the way. Formative assessments, however, do not have to take an inordinate amount of time. Using a Variety of Formative Assessments The National Forum on Assessment (1995) suggests that assessment systems include opportunities for both individual and group work. Often, the opportunity to work with others before working on their own leads students toward mastery. Types of Assessment Strategies How to Use the Assessments in This Book In addition, for many strategies you'll find:

Dylan Wiliam – Formative Assessment – The Masterplan The first of a series of notes / reflections on sessions at the 2010 SSAT National Conference. Bio Dylan Wiliam has the grand title of ‘Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment‘ at the Institute of Education in London. He is a former Maths teacher and co-author of the book “Inside the Black Box“. He is a world renowned expert on assessment for learning, and was recently to be seen on BBC television in The Classroom Experiment. My Notes On learning environments & the role of the teacher: Teachers do not create learning. On intelligence & environment: Intelligence is partly inherited. On flow: Flow = match between challenge and capability. On assessment: Pre tests. 5 key strategies in teaching: On feedback & questioning: Middle class kids ‘get the code’, working class are no less intelligent just don’t get what we want. Plan questions carefully to elicit understanding, not incorrect methods that are resulting in right answers. Wait time for questioning. Key points: Cause thinking.

Classroom Assessment | Basic Concepts A. Formative vs. Summative Assessments Classroom assessments can include a wide range of options -- from recording anecdotal notes while observing a student to administering standardized tests. Formative assessments are on-going assessments, reviews, and observations in a classroom. Summative assessments are typically used to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional programs and services at the end of an academic year or at a pre-determined time. The following table highlights some formative and summative assessments that are common in K12 schools.

An ASCD Study Guide for Checking for Understanding: Formative Assessment Techniques for Your Classroom This ASCD Study Guide is designed to enhance your understanding and application of the information contained in Checking for Understanding, an ASCD book written by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey and published in September 2007. You can use the study guide before or after you have read the book, or as you finish each chapter. The study questions provided are not meant to cover all aspects of the book, but, rather, to address specific ideas that might warrant further reflection. Most of the questions contained in this study guide are ones you can think about on your own, but you might consider pairing with a colleague or forming a study group with others who have read (or are reading) Checking for Understanding. Chapter 1: Why Check for Understanding? What are common ways that teachers check for understanding? Chapter 2. What is oral language? Chapter 3: Using Questioning to Check for Understanding Why has questioning been used to assess comprehension for so long?

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