With this strategy, teachers first organize the concepts and skills they want students to learn into learning units that typically involve about a week or two of instructional time. Following initial instruction on the unit, teachers administer a brief quiz or assessment based on the unit's learning goals. Instead of signifying the end of the unit, however, this assessment's purpose is to give students information, or “feedback,” on their learning. To emphasize this new purpose Bloom suggested calling it a formative assessment, meaning “to inform or provide information” (see Scriven, 1967). A formative assessment identifies for students precisely what they have learned well to that point, and what they need to learn better (Bloom, Hastings, & Madaus, 1971).
Remember Daniel Pink: Autonomy, Mastery, Purpose? This would be the MASTERY piece. When we teach and move along, pressured by the need to cover, we sabbotage engagement . For some kids, it feels disrespectful. Teaching for mastery is a must if learning is our goal.
Via Mary Perfitt-Nelson, Kathy Boyd