Has your district, school, department, or team jointly created the formative assessments that everyone will give on those critical parts of a standard? If you have not done so, use an online blog to discuss ideas before you make the actual decision. Use a computer connected to a Smartboard or LCD so you all see what the changes as you make them. If you all give the same formative assessments, then you can have meaningful discussions about students’ progress and the effectiveness of certain techniques.
The teachers can pool their past assessments and the team can modify these assessments to be focused on the critical aspects of the standard. As the teachers talk about changes to the assessments, the changes can be made for everyone to see when an LCD projection is attached to a computer.
The formative assessments will
– be directly based on the standard (ELA Standard 1)
– assess the critical part of the standard (ELA 1: Information: read a graph and write a persuasive essay using the data)
– assess the critical part in the same way that everyone has agreed on. (Students see a graph about a topic, write the essay, and teachers assess it using the state writing rubric)
– be given frequently during the year
– be returned to the students as soon as possible after the task
– contain feedback comments on how the students can improve on the critical part of the standard
– be monitored for students’ progress by using a spreadsheet or grading program.
So how often do you use formative assessments for critical parts of a standard? How often do students get feedback on their progress in these critical standards parts? How do you use technology to aid you in this process?
© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007