Four key words are expressed in the CCSSO definition of Formative Assessment. What are those words and how do they relate to Formative Assessment?
The four key words expressed in the CCSSO definition of Formative Assessment are PROCESS, DURING, FEEDBACK, STUDENTS. The first word, process, relates to formative assessment because it is a process rather than product. “The process includes: sharing clear learning targets and the criteria for success, which are ways students can know they are successful; eliciting evidence of learning during instruction using a variety of strategies and activities; determining gaps in learning based on the evidence and the established criteria for success; providing students feedback on where they are in the learning process; and taking action to adjust instruction by determining the next steps, adjusting the target, or moving to the next target.” The second word, during, relates to formative assessment because it does not take place after instruction but rather during instruction when students are expected to make mistakes. The third word, feedback, relates to formative assessment because during the process students are given provided descriptive feedback that is related to criteria for success. By sharing with the students the criteria for success and modeling descriptive feedback, the teacher will help the students learn to self-assess and take responsibility for learning. The fourth word, students, relates to formative assessment because it is important for students to be engaged in their learning by participating in formative assessment.
Why is planning an essential part of insuring that Formative Assessment is implemented during instruction every day?
There are many reasons why planning is such an essential part of insuring that formative assessment is implemented during instruction every day. It is important for teachers to understand the goal that all students are expected to master. “This includes understanding the cognitive level of mastery or level of precision.” Before the instruction, teachers should know what the ultimate goal is and how it will be measured using summative assessment. In order to reach that goal teachers need to break down the big idea that will be measures on the summative test into smaller, more reachable objectives that can be reached during the learning process.
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