I heard from a college student who happened to read parts of my next manuscript (Formative Assessment Improves Writing) after his mother told him that she was reviewing the book. He mentioned that the smart kids “get it” but the other kids often struggle. They get lost in one part and then they get more lost in the next and more lost in the next until they cannot find their way out. Unfortunately, their teachers usually do not help them.
He was interested in how I made sure no student could get lost since I assess each student on each minor part of his/her writing journey.
I wonder how often teachers assess their students and then give formative feedback immediately? How many minutes go by before the students are assessed and formative feedback is used to help students get back on the learning path if they have wondered off? How many days? How many weeks? The more time between formative assessments, they more time to get lost, to get so lost that there is almost no hope of ever finding the path again.
How lost are your students? How do you know? What do you do to help them when they get lost?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.