Teacher helping student with class work.

Use Formative Assessment to Measure Specific Learning Targets

Why: (Purpose)

  • Cooperative Learning
    • Encourages responsibility and self-management
    • Ability to modify instruction to increase learning
  • Deep Learning
    • Self-directed learning
    • Effective communication
    • Empowering students to lead their own learning
    • Developing academic mindsets
  • Higher Student Achievement
    • Promotes critical thinking, reasoning, and summarizing
    • Increases retention for “expert” material
  • Greater Engagement
    • Students are directly connected with the material
    • Responsibility = increased focus
    • Intentional goal setting
  • Well-Being
    • Increases self-confidence in a less threatening environment
    • Encourages more face-to-face interaction with peers
    • Opportunity to track goals and see progress

What: (Description of the Strategy)

Formative Assessment is a strong tier one tool that measures a specific learning target and informs teachers on how to instruct individual students. It creates checkpoints for reteaching or reaching beyond, offers goal-setting opportunities, and prepares teacher and students for summative assessment. The teacher can see where students are and meet them where they are at.

What it is:

  • Designed to measure a specific learning target
  • Differentiated
  • Helps students take ownership of learning
  • Provides opportunities for actionable feedback
  • Provides data for collection to help teachers design instruction

What it isn’t:

  • Broad
  • Designed for a ‘grade’
  • Single opportunity
  • Single format

How: (How to set up the Strategy)

This strategy can be used in any space and for any subject. Use the following steps.

1. Determine learning target

2. Teach the lesson

3. Collect the data

4. Review to determine progress towards target

  • Teacher should provide opportunities for feedback regarding work and meeting learning target
  • Learner should be prepared to evaluate learning
  • Learner should ask questions to clarify understanding
  • Learner should look for next steps

5. Make a decision for next steps

6. Goal setting

Digital/Virtual Application of the Strategy

  • In a virtual classroom, provide individualized feedback/instruction using the learning management system features available (e.g., breakout room, muted work time)
  • Work can be resubmitted after corrections have been made
  • Video recordings can be used and teacher provides feedback

Face to Face Application

  • In a face-to-face classroom, provide individualized feedback/instruction during student conferences
  • Use formative assessments in small groups for students to collaborate on their answers – teach each other why they may have missed the question.

Ideas for Activities and Assessments

  • Exit tickets
  • Temperature of the class activities
  • Rubrics
  • Informal polls
  • Quizzes
  • Research and artifact creation
  • Writing samples with a rubric

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