Formative Assessment

Thinking - Clip ArtHow do students use results of your assessments?

“Informative assessment isn’t an end it itself, but the beginning of better instruction” Carol Ann Tomlinson

Teachers can increase student learning by helping students understand ways to use results of formative assessments.  Include in your instruction time for students to discuss what they are expected to know and be able to do by the end of an instructional unit.

Equally important is to let them know how you will measure their acquisition of knowledge and demonstration of skills.  This, of course, will take some planning on your part.  you will need to know what you expect to see as you measure their increased knowledge and skill. Blooms Verbs Action Wheel

Talk about levels and depth of thinking.  Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy is accessible to most students, but you may need to help them understand the academic language.  Share with them this chart with set of verbs to give students ideas on ways they can demonstrate their learning.

Discussing these issues puts teachers on the same side…learning together.

While I agree with Carol Ann Tomlinson’s quotation that informative assessments can be beginning of better instruction, I’d add that informative assessments can be the beginning of better learning for the students.

Once students understand what they are expected to know and be able to do as well as ways they can demonstrate their increased understanding, they are more likely to cooperate, collaborate  and eagerly anticipate a range of assessment opportunities.



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