Tison Middle School
How do we know they learned it?
Formative Assessments are the pit stops, these types of assessments are used to gauge if students got it or not along the way. Formative assessments are a purposeful way of collecting data to progress monitor, intervene, and extend learning along the way. Using formative assessments has a huge pay off when you get to the summative assessments. These assessments are usually low stakes, provide opportunities for immediate feedback, check for understanding, and allow the teacher to identify students strengths and weaknesses in real time.
Think of summative assessments like the destination of your road trip, you put in a lot of hours and stops along the way to get there. A summative assessment happens at the end of the learning journey. If we only use these assessments it is hard to go back and help students master standards. WISD and the state have created summative assessments for us in the form of CBA's and STAAR. These are the end game for students to show (I like to say, celebrate) everything they learned in your course. If we only use these methods to check students progress and intervene it's too late to provide needing instruction to the student. It would be like driving on a flat tire the length of your road trip without stopping to get it fixed, and let's be honest no one wants to do that.
We can't leave our students stranded in the TEKS, so it is important to use formative assessments to monitor their strengths and weaknesses before they get to the summative assessment. Also, this would be great data to organize impactful and purposeful small groups! There are many ways to formative assess students learning below you will find links to resources and articles if you wish to explore the topic further.
David Wees and colleagues created 56 ways to formative assess students learning
What is happening now, and what is our next steps?
Everyone likes to hear "Good job, congratulations on your improvement" and other positive reinforcements. It's hard with 150 students to provide individual feedback, however with the addition of a small group you can target students and have good conversations about data. There are also some really cool tech ways to mass send students emails containing pre-made feedback comments, but it's important to remember conversation and relationships are always more impactful.
Questions to ask yourself when looking at data:
What is the data telling you?
What overall trends do you see?
How was this taught?
Where did students perform above expectation?
Where did students perform below expectation?
What do students need to be successful in this standard?
What similarities or differences occur across data sources?
More to come on data analysis in PLC!
*read to the beat of Meghan Trainor, All About That Base*
It's all 'bout that data, 'bout that data, no _______ ! (my rhyme game isn't as good as Mr. Sams so you'll have to fill in the blank).
Below are a few resources if you wish to explore data further.