Tip # 5

Formative Assessments

Monitoring and Adjusting

According to Popham (2008), Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students' achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Understanding how and when to use formative assessment strategies in the classroom is an important part of facilitating instruction (Standard IV of the North Carolina Professional Teaching Standards.)

Strategies to Help You Monitor Student Progress

Click on each of the links below to see teachers using formative assessment strategies. Modify the strategies to make them your own. Think about why it is important to pre-assess, check for understanding at frequent intervals during the lesson, and to assess at the end of the day.

Hook Stations: Pre-Assessment Strategy

Notice the logistics involved as you watch the video: Timing, To-Do-&-Notice, Questions, Rotate How would you describe the teacher's role and the students' role during the activity?How does this type of exploration prepare students for the unit to come?

Fist to Five: Instant Student Feedback

How does Fist to Five act as both an assessment and a reflection strategy?


Why is it important to elicit feedback about students social experiences?


How could this strategy be used throughout a lesson to assess understanding?

Stoplight: End of Lesson Formative Assessment

What kinds of obstacles might students write on the red light?


How could the data gathered from the exit slips be used to inform future lessons?


How could you adapt the three categories of feedback for your classroom?