Recently I received an email from someone who had purchased my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment. She said that she was, at first, shocked by how I had objectified English by breaking each part of the writing process down. She said that she had assumed that her students “knew” all the basic things about writing. However, when she began to use the book’s formative assessments for each part of the pre-writing process, she quickly found out that they did not. She realized that they became stuck very early in the writing process and, therefore, did not move forward. She told me that she never thought about giving students different strategies to overcome their writing gaps; she just assumed their present writing strategy was effective. She used some of the book’s various strategy to help them. She commented that she could see success in her students as they used the strategy. She ended up by saying that she was now aware of how much structure students need to be successful and how these formative assessments provided that structure.
Obviously, I felt good about her comments. The writing formative assessments that I included in the book were ones that I have used in a college writing course that I teach. Some of the students in the class dropped out of school in six grade and am now working on their GED as they are taking college courses. My job is help these “at-risk” students to go from six grade writing to college level writing in one semester. Through the use of constant formative assessments I can guide them from where they are to where they need to be so they can write college-level academic essays. The writing formative assessments build in student success and build in student confidence in their writing.
My book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.