Formative Assessment and YOU!

A process that benefits the student AND the educator

Formative & Summative Assessments - how they fit in your classroom article by Catherine Garrison and Dr. Michael Ehringhaus

There is a time and place for both summative and formative assessment in today's classroom. Summative assessments include end of year/course exams, chapter test and unit test. Formative assessments are executed multiple times on a daily bases. These short burst of assessments provide a real-time snapshot of where the student lies on the path of a specific learning objective. Educators today are still trying to separate the two forms of assessment and implement each at the proper time. Ultimately, it is the educators task to implement, review, and provide specific feedback on each style of assessment; however, the educator can use formative assessment to guide future instruction where the results of a summative assessment are after the fact.

Solving Formative Assessment's Catch-22 by John K. Waters

One of the first issues addressed in this article is the time that formative assessment takes from instruction, "every minute on assessments is a minute lost to instruction" (Waters 2012). The article refers to this as a pedagogical Catch-22 and states that this matter may be influencing the slow development of tools to assist educators.

Five "Key Strategies" for Effective Formative Assessment Article by Dylan Williams

In the article “Five Key Strategies for Effective Formative Assessment” the author immediately identifies three central processes to effective formative assessment. The first process is establishing where the students are in their learning; without a baseline growth can not be established. Secondly, we must establish where it is we want the students to be at the end of a given period of time. Third, we as educators must determine how we are going to get the student to the desired end result. Once this well thought out plan has been established, formative assessment can be cultivated from five key strategies. Unpacking Formative Assessment. Dylan William's discusses five strategies that make good formative assessments.

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Formative Assessment: The Driving Force Behind Differentiation link to article by Kristina Doubet

"There is one pitfall that educators must caution against and that is we can’t differentiate for the sake of being different rather than for the sake of meeting needs”. (Doubet 2011). Without formative assessments to guide us to the students needs, we are simply working off of assumptions. (read for more interesting details...)


Listening to the Data by Bobb Darnell

What are the students saying?

1) Please show us the essential concepts, vocabulary, and skills in each unit and clearly communicate the learning goals.

2) Please use a variety of assessments that have real-life connections and show and tell us the characteristics of a great product or performance.

3) Please assess us often, covering smaller amounts of information at a time and giving us feedback about our progress.

4) Please analyze the assessment results to determine my strengths and weaknesses, teach me strategies to improve, and let me redo or retake assessments.

Read the article to learn more!