The Success of Formative Assessment in the Classroom

October 6, 2016

What is Formative Assessment?

Start Your New Year Off Right!

July 21, 2016

PEG Writing: New YearThe summer is going by so quickly! Before you know it, it will be time to start a new school year. Some teachers and students are already heading back to school.
Are you ready?

Resolutions: Feedback

January 21, 2015

Writing resolutions aren't just for writers. Teachers can also make resolutions about the feedback they give to students. Feedback is important, as it helps students make improvements in their writing. This week's resources can help teachers give better feedback, more often.

Feedback on Feedback

August 12, 2014

Formative assessment is designed to meet students at their respective performance levels, provide constructive feedback, and have students revise their work.  Unlike summative assessment, it allows students and teachers to collaborate during assignments to identify strengths and weaknesses immediately and to improve teaching and learning.  Formative assessment is usually low-stakes and non-threatening to students.  Sounds good, right?  It is good, but only if the students are reading and using our feedback.

Feedback – Noise or Music to the Ear?

August 7, 2014

Among the complaints most teachers have about end-of-year tests is that they provide little or no actionable information about students, at least for the current school year. Even interim assessments, given three or four times a year, may not yield timely feedback, especially if portions need to be sent out for hand scoring of open-ended responses. For test feedback to be useful, it has to be tangible, transparent, actionable, customized, timely, ongoing, and consistent. That’s a tall order.

Formative assessments, which can be given at any time, promise all the qualities of useful feedback, but they sometimes fail to deliver because they are technically flawed: they lack reliability, or they don’t capture critical aspects of the curriculum, or they take so long to grade that by the time they are graded, everyone has moved on.

What if we combined the best qualities of standardized summative and interim tests with the best qualities of formative classroom tests? What would those tests look like? Would they look like tests at all? What should they look like?