Posted on 11/19/2013 at 10:30 AM by Global Reach

 Formative Assessment

First, what is formative assessment?
To answer this, let’s take a look at a few definitions…
Formative assessment is the “formal and informal process teachers and students use to gather evidence for the purpose of improving learning” (Chappuis, Stiggins, Chappuis, & Arter, 2012, p. 6). 
Formative assessment is “frequent and onging assessment, completed en route to mastery; ongoing assessment could be considered as “checkpoints” on students’ progress and the foundation for feedback given – the most useful assessment teachers can provide for students and for their own teaching decisions” (Wormeli, 2006, p. 200).
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” (State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards, 2008, p. 3)
Formative assessment is “an assessment carried out during the instructional process for the purpose of improving teaching and learning…What makes formative assessment formative is that it is immediately used to make adjustments so as to form new learning (Shepard, 2008, p. 281).
Assessment for learning (formative assessment) is identified by the Iowa Core as a characteristic of effective instruction and needs to be used by both teachers and students during instruction to monitor progress.  An important point to stress is that formative assessment is not an add-on to instruction but rather an integrated part of the instructional process.  Formative assessments are not instruments but rather practices that teachers and students must integrate into the classroom. 
So, the question is how do we integrate formative assessment into the classroom?  Provided below are some formative assessment practices that teachers can integrate into the classroom so teachers and students can gauge their progress towards the intended learning goals.  These practices are only formative if the results inform both teachers and students of progress and lead to necessary adjustments to instruction.
Chappuis, J., Stiggins, R., Chappuis, S., & Arter, J. (2011). Classroom assessment for student learning. Boston: Pearson.
Keeley, P., & Tobey, C. R. (2011). Mathematics formative assessment: 75 practical strategies for linking assessment, instruction, and learning. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press.
Shepard, L.A. (2008). Formative assessment: Caveat emptor. In C. Dwyer (ed.), The future of assessment: Shaping teaching and learning (pp. 279-303). New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards. (2008). Attributes of effective formative assessment. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.
Wormeli, R. (2006). Fair isn't always equal assessing & grading in the differentiated classroom. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishing.


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