Every Two Weeks Formative Assessment Model

Every Two Weeks Formative Assessment Model

I would like to propose a starting point for doing, recording and analyzing formative assessment in the classroom. I call it the “every two weeks” method. Within a two week period you will do a formative assessment on one standard and record that information in a spreadsheet or database. You will record a rating and a quick comment for each student.

By the end of eight weeks, you will have four formative assessments on a particular standard. Since the information is in a spreadsheet or database, you can sort the information to see the growth of each individual student and to see overall class progress. You can review those assessments of an individual student to determine areas of growth and to identify areas for scaffolded improvement. For those students who have grown in the standard you can celebrate their growth and for those students who have not yet shown proficiency in the standard you can plan a structured approach for their improvement. You can see if the whole class is progressing in the standard.

What would this look like in your classroom? You decide to assess English Language Arts Standard 1 Information and Understanding and, in particular, the students’ ability to listen and agree or disagree with the information in a written paragraph. You look at the state benchmark to see the type of passage on the assessment and to see what type writing the students have to do. You think of the content you are covering during the next two weeks and incorporate a listening passage about that content and have the students write a reaction paragraph. You assess the writing according to the state rubric. For each student, you identify a strength and an area for improvement. After you do an analysis of the spreadsheet information, you build into the next listening activity at least one skill improvement activity that will help the greatest number of students. You repeat this similar standards-based assessment activity three more times during the next six weeks (one time each two weeks). Each time you figure out what one area would help the most students to improve in this standards activity and do some activities to help the students master those subskills necessary for success in this standard. You have identified certain students who will receive your small group or one-on-one help within the next two weeks. By repeatedly assessing the same standard and analyzing the results of the state benchmark rubric, you can help your students’ constantly improve in the standard. This every two week assessment model can work with DBQs in Social Studies and the inquiry process in Science. It helps to assess essential repetitive aspects of the standards.

Try it and see how much your students grow academically!

© Harry Grover Tuttle, 2007


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