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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #16 
I use formative assessment heavily in my classroom.  It gives me real time feedback on how my students are doing.  It gives me snapshots throughout the unit I am in with the students so if there is a problem I can pull them into a small group and review or do an intervention.  Mostly I find that the directions were confusing or the students has a different view of the passage.  It gives me time to re-evaluate my instruction for the next day.  If all goes well there should not be any surprises when I do my summative assessment, or surprises for the parents!

I have a smart board in my classroom and that give the kids a fun way to "show what you know" and if there is a problem I can immediately correct or support the student in finding the answer.  I do quick check workbook pages or just have the student come back individually and explain how they came up with an answer.  I try to make it fun and non-threatening.  Which gives me a better picture of what a student is capable of doing.  When I say "today you will have a test" I get anxiety and that doesn't help the student in their performance.  When I have parent conferences I can also show work to the parents of what the kids are grasping well and then share the tests and we can have a discussion on areas that need to be improved or celebrated.  


Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #17 

Formative assessments allow us to evaluate learning during the process so that there are no surprises at the end.  As a vocational trainer (office administration), my students are required to know the material.  They are given packets which direct them through the required material.  I use these as formative assessments.  If they don’t understand the material, I go back over it with them one-on-one to be sure they understand or have acquired the skill. They will have “summative assessments” in the form of the actual certifications when they appear to have mastered a skill, such as Microsoft Word.  There are both learning mode (“help” tests) and practice tests that can be taken repeatedly to be sure the skill is mastered prior to taking the certification.


Posts: 89
Reply with quote  #18 

A benefit of formative assessments is that they identify for both the teacher and student whether concepts have been learned/mastered.  DuFour states “it is not something to be purchased; it is a skill that educators must master.” This skill is something I think all educator programs should emphasize for beginning teachers.  Formative assessments are how you identify whether each student learned the objective/goal, if re-teaching is needed, or if you can go a step further and students can show their mastery with extra activities.   

 I used formative assessments in my classroom all the time.  It was an opportunity for my students to “learn from their mistakes, receive additional instruction, and then try again until they succeed[ed].”  Effective questioning and wait time were thankfully shared with me early in my career.  Wait time was asking a question, then giving plenty of time for students to think of an answer before calling on someone.  I also made sure that all students were called on, not just the bright ones or ones with their hands raised.  I really liked DuFour’s description of how to incorporate and develop high-quality questions.  Another effective formative assessment I used was having students answer a question in their science journal and then walking around the room to check for understanding.  I also used this strategy during laboratory experiments and science activities.  This was especially important when students were learning to use science formulas.  I created all of my own assessments (pop quizzes, vocabulary quizzes, chapter or unit reviews, review games, chapter/unit tests).  It allowed me to determine particular areas a student might be struggling in, and it was an effective way of ensuring the objectives I taught and students learned were what was being tested (versus a generic textbook generated test).  During daily instruction, I used lots of questioning and reviewing of concepts previously mastered during the school year to ensure students were able to see the “big picture” and how science concepts tied together.  It would have been wonderful to be able to do this with colleagues and have more ideas for effective teaching and learning opportunities. 


Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #19 
The benefits of formative assessments is that they give evidence of student learning.
One formative assessment that I used in my math class was exit tickets. They were easy to create and quick to check. I could see who mastered concepts and who needed extra assistance. No grades were given on the exit tickets.
This year we really incorporated technology in our evidence for student learning. Kahoot, Plickers, QR codes, we're a few of the ones that the students absolutely loved. We also used a random name generator to calling upon students for formative assessments.
I recently saw an app were students can record themselves explaining a concept..for example-How did the first people arrive to what is today North America. The teacher receives the videos and is able to assess student knowledge prior to the summative. I like this idea and wonder if anyone in this forum has used it.

Posts: 8
Reply with quote  #20 
The benefits of using formative assessments allows both students and teachers to monitor learning. One of the things my school made us do was use an "I will/we will" statement for each lesson. This was what we wanted students to take from the lesson. It was easy to use a formative assessment to check if they were understanding the lesson. If many students were having difficulty, then I knew I needed to reteach the lesson in a different approach.

Some formative assessments I used were pinch cards, journal writing or drawing, turning and talking to a neighbor to explain what they got out of the lesson, storytelling apps on my iPad where they explained what they learned, and I'd do engaging things where I'd throw a ball or shine a flashlight on the kids and they'd have to answer questions with explanations. I always had them elaborate. Also, at small groups, I'd like them to show me through acting it out or applying their knowledge via manipulates.

Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #21 
The benefits of formative assessment are that they help us know where students are at before the summarize assessment. As teachers, it gives us the opportunity to reteach or correct misunderstandings and misconceptions before the summative assessment. It also allows us to keep looking back on things we have already taught to make sure there was true learning, not just students memorizing for the test (summative) and then forgetting it. Plus we can see the students who didn't quite grasp the concept by the summative but it clicked later on.

Flipping the classroom allows me more time to do activities that incorporate formative assessment on the material they watched the video on. Bingo games, partner up and explain to each other, work problems with a partner on dry erase boards where I check that the answer is correct before they go on to the next one,...those are a few examples of things I've done. It helps me out because students can really look like they understand when they are sitting at the computer working on their homework but when they do these activities I find so many opportunities to clarify things they really don't understand.

Posts: 70
Reply with quote  #22 
A benefit of formative assessments is that it gives the teacher (and the students!) an idea of where the students are in the learning process.  This gives the students time to review material and to catch up before too much time has passed where the students are not making learning progress with the material.  For example, if a student does not have a good grasp of a topic in algebra, the student will fall behind as more skills are taught and built onto previous skills.  I did a lot of formative assessments while teaching algebra at an alternative school.  I had only three (3!) students in the class, so it was incredibly easy to give small quizzes and do group problem sets in order to evaluate each student before moving onto a unit test (summative assessment).  With just three students, the class was set up as almost a formative assessment class.  I would teach a small unit, have the students work problem sets on their own and/or with each other, and I could closely monitor how each student was doing.  With a larger class, I could have the students do more work in groups in order to continue a formative approach.  I prefer the formative assessment approach because it has a more positive approach.  Instead of a test which indicates if the student has learned the material, and it not, well, too bad, the formative approach is more of a, let's work together to make sure everybody learns the material before we move on.  

The formative assessment also promotes a more student-active role in the classroom.  If the teacher is constantly checking for student mastery and skill level, the teacher must engage the students and not just lecture in front of the class.  A more active class keeps the students more involved and hopefully learning more.  

I like what the book says on page 172 regarding formative assessments: "Teachers must be provided with time, professional development, and ongoing support to develop high-quality assessments, particularly in light of the very different and more rigorous assessments that are emerging from the Common Core State Standards."

Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #23 
I use many types of formative assessments in my physics class.  I know that for myself, I don't really understand if I have learned something well, until I get a chance to test myself.  Students really need the opportunity to find out what they don't know or what they are misunderstanding.  I use quizzes as checks for understanding.  They are a small part of the grade and give students a chance to check their understanding.  Quizzes also give me a chance to see where the gaps in understanding are for the whole class.  I offer electronic practice quizzes tied to the content that also give students a chance to practice before taking a test.  I have also used Clickers during direct instruction to get immediate feedback about a concept I just taught.  This year I incorporated Kahoot and Quizziz to check for understanding as well.  I have also done problem solving in class where I have students complete the problems and then bring their work to me for a check if correct or for corrections if they missed something.  Sometimes, I walk around to each student and sometimes I have them walk to me when done or when they have questions.

Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #24 
According to Dufour the benefit of the formative assessment is that it confirms proficiency, identifies where improvement is needed, and to provides support and administers the necessary instruction for the student to demonstrate mastery. the lesson.  I have witnessed this, when in the classroom when students are provided a rubric to follow as they complete an assignment.

Houston ISD material says that regular formative assessments are to help differentiate instruction and improve student achievement.  They can be used for practice, to check for understanding, and guide teacher instruction about making decisions, provide feedback to students, and to track data.  Some of these are exit tickets, District level Snapshots, and Benchmark tests.

Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #25 
In the text it reads "ample research is now at hand to indicate emphatically that when the formative assessment process is used students learn better- lots better." (pg. 159) I would agree with this quote from the text. Formative assessment does not have to be pencil and paper it can actually be very fun for the students - in fact I do a lot of formative assessment where students do not even realize they are applying information they've been taught.
There is a game we play named Quiz Quiz Trade where students are walking around the classroom asking others questions from the index cards and checking the answer on the back and trading the index cards off with someone else so they would get a new one to quiz someone else on while the teacher walks about the room listening and making mental notes of concepts they have and those that will need to be retaught. Formative assessments can help the teacher determine if there is something that he/she need to go back over a different way so it reaches more students.

Posts: 42
Reply with quote  #26 
I believe formative assessment is very helpful to help the teacher know what each child knows and what they may need to work on a little more.   Also it helps the teacher get an idea on the classroom understanding a topic as a whole group.  The way that I use formative assessment the most is by asking questions to the whole class.  They then answer by raising their hand or not.   Also, I really enjoy any time I can use a game or fun activity as a formative assessment.   

Posts: 148
Reply with quote  #27 

Formative assessment can be very useful to teachers and students.  It allows both  teachers and students to evaluate how well an objective or content was learned.  Formative assessments do have benefits if used properly.  Teachers are able to use the formative assessments as a guide to group small groups for reteaching, extension activities, or whole group reteaching.  I have used various formative assessments in my class.  Some examples are teacher made pop quizzes, student made pop quizzes, exit passes.  My students particularly like oral debates.  Their class favorite is the multiple choice debate.  I write a question on the board and either I give three possible correct answers(sometimes I put 3 incorrect answers) or post 3 answers from students.  Students then debate on which answer is correct and why the others are incorrect.


Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #28 

Formative Assessment is crucial for both educators and students. Educators used Formative Assessments as a guide for teaching skills and concepts to students, to gauge if students need more practice, and to identify where specific improvement is needed both for the student and the educators instruction. It is also a “skill that educators must master” (pg 158). As a new teacher, I have a ways to go to master this skill. After reading this chapter, I hope that there is a strong collaborative spirit at my campus so I can succeed.

During student teaching, I taught a lesson on Ghandi. Before beginning, students were required to create a KWL chart on Ghandi and fill out the Know and Want to Know portion. There was a short class discussion on what the students put in their chart. Many of the students were Indian and had more information than I did before planning the lesson! And several had very good questions about him. At the completion of the lesson, students were to write a Tweet on a post-it about Ghandi as an exit ticket. Students would complete the chart the next day for their warm-up. Many students had clever Tweets that related well to the lesson. Later, when students were reviewing for their Summative Assessment, students did well with all the terms related to the Ghandi lesson, and many did well on the resulting test.
In the same class, the teacher used Red Light, Yellow Light, and Green Light to see how students felt about an upcoming test. If students put a post-it note on the Red Light, they had to write down when they planned on coming to tutorials. The teacher would also contact parents to make sure the student would be attending tutorials. The Yellow Light had to have a specific topic or question students were worried about regarding the test. Green Light just had their name on it. 

The school I will be teaching at requires students to complete an Exit Ticket at the end of every lesson. I feel like this will help me once I get into the classroom in order to help both me and my students succeed in the classroom. I have also used Kahoot! before, and Nearpod with interactive questions to view students understanding. Students loved being able to use the technology and often did well with those forms of Formative Assessment. One takeaway I took from the chapter would be on students that respond with “I don’t know,” “They will instruct the student to think about the question, listen to how other respond, and then explain which answer he or she liked best and why” (pg 161). I feel like it’s an excellent way to get students to contribute to the conversation.



Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #29 

The practice of using formative assessments is beneficial because it allows the teacher to keep up with what the students are or are not learning and to adjust the lesson as a result.  Lessons and units can be continuously adjusted and modified to better aid student learning instead of giving them a unit test at the end and sighing in exasperation that they didn’t learn anything.    Formative assessments also take some of the pressure off of students to where they’re no longer stressing about the final test but instead are focused just on the job of learning the material.   This style of assessment helps to prevent children from being lost in the shuffle and left behind. 

One example of a formative assessment from my previous classroom took place during math centers.  Following a short large group lesson, the class dispersed into math centers.  During that time, I was able to pull students singly or in small groups back to work with me.   I would ask them to demonstrate the concepts we were learning and see if they could apply those same concepts in various ways.  If they had trouble, I could reteach a little at that time.   This was done every day.  It allowed me to assess individual students, as well as how much the class as a whole was grasping various concepts.  As a result, I would tweak the whole group instruction, the math centers, and the small group activities I had planned for the next day.  


Posts: 22
Reply with quote  #30 
Formative assessments gauge both the student's knowledge and the teacher's teaching.  The teacher can instantly see areas that need to be revisited or gaps in learning.  I use formative assessments in class - some are for a grade and some are not.  Some examples are worksheets, task cards, exit tickets,, Plickers, and Google classroom.  The students love the technology based assessments like, Kahoot and Plickers.
Chellie Nelson
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