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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?

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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.

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? 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.

Library Girl's Picks: The Best Digital Tools for Formative Assessment On Monday, I had the opportunity to participate in another fab edition of the TL Virtual Cafe webinar series. This month's PD offering was an "Edutech Smackdown" featuring the Queen of All Things Library: Joyce Valenza. I love these smackdown sessions because they are the ultimate crowdsourced PD. Everybody grabs a slide (or two or ten) and when their time comes, takes the mic to share something they love. 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.

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. Visible Thinking Core Routines The core routines are a set of seven or so routines that target different types of thinking from across the modules. These routines are easy to get started with and are commonly found in Visible Thinking teachers' toolkits. Try getting started with with one of these routines. What Makes You Say That?

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. Informative Assessment:The Best Value in Formative Assessment December 2007/January 2008 | Volume 65 | Number 4 Informative Assessment Pages 14-19 Recently a school leader asked us to provide an example of a good test item on a formative assessment and then show how that item would be different when used on a summative test. He wanted to explain to his staff the difference between formative and summative assessment. His end goal was for teachers to develop assessments to measure how well students were mastering the content standards that would appear on the state accountability test before the test was given in the spring. His question reflects the confusion many educators have about formative and summative assessment. This confusion isn't surprising: Definitions of formative assessment abound, resulting in multiple and sometimes conflicting understandings.

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