During the past few years, this blog has addressed several questions about formative assessments. These just-in-time assessments embedded in instruction help a teacher understand what students are learning, identify misconceptions, and adjust instruction as needed. These assessments are an integral part of instruction, not an add-on or special event. These informal (and often ungraded) assessments also allow students to practice and reflect on their learning.
Here’s a quick look back at some of my favorite questions (and answers):
Formative assessments: real-time responses My principal is talking to us about using “formative” assessments. But does this mean taking time away from instruction for more tests? When will I have time to teach?
Formative assessments I’m looking for suggestions for formative assessments. Do you have some unique ideas to assess students quickly and adjust instruction accordingly?
Testing blues I’m feeling really frustrated right now. I thought the students were following along in my first unit, but when I gave the test, I was really disappointed in the results. What can I do differently in the next unit?
What do students already know? Last year, I started giving pretests at the beginning of each unit. The students were upset because they didn’t know many of the answers, even though I explained I didn’t expect them to know everything and the pretest wouldn’t count as a grade. Are there other ways to find out what students know about a topic?
Assessment items I’m interested in finding some science assessments to supplement the state tests at the high school level. I’m especially looking for ones that will help me understand students’ thinking.