It’s more than just collecting data of student progress. For maximum impact on the teaching and learning process formative assessment requires attention to student progress each day, in fact, multiple times a day.
Assessing doesn’t need be overwhelming. My suggestion is to get an understanding of formative assessment and all it’s parts, the strategies and the techniques. There are many experts in the field of education with information shared on the topic.
But, I suggest you begin with the Dylan William. He lays a clear foundtion of understanding. With a clear foundation, you will be able to implement small changes to shift teaching and learning in your classroom to meet the need of the students right where they are, at this moment in time.
What is Formative Assessment?
Formative assessment is the art of recognizing and maximizing opportunities of professional observation. Teachers observe student behavior and performance day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute.
There are five strategies Dylan William outlines in his book, Embedding formative Assessment. Following these strategies is the foundation of effective formative assessment. The ‘art’ refers to teachers’ selected techniques to implement these strategies.
Every classroom environment is as unique as its population. Therefore, teachers must make professional decisions of implementation best for the needs of the learners and their learning community.
I often refer to this type of decision making as Teacher Intuition. Sometimes, you, as a professional, just know what’s best to help your students come to an understanding of the learning intentions. If you design instruction with the following strategies in mind, you will make significant progress in increasing students’ academic accountability and increasing student engagement.
5 Strategies of Formative Assessment:
The Foundation 1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success – getting the students to really understand what their classroom experience will be and how their success will be measured.
2. Engineering effective classroom discussions, activities, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning – developing effective classroom instructional strategies that allow for the measurement of success.
3. Providing feedback that moves learning forward – working with students to provide them the information they need to better understand problems and solutions.
4. Activating learners as instructional resources for one another – getting students involved with each other in discussions and working groups can help improve student learning.
5. Activating learners as owners of their own learning – We wrote a recent blog on this topic: self-regulation of learning leads to student performance improvement.
FREE Training with Dylan Wiliam on Formative Assessment