Formative assessment or assessment for learning is a proven strategy to improve student achievement.
Mel Riddile's insight:
“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they're currently doing.
• Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of students' status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics.
• Because formative assessment has been shown to improve students' in-class learning, many educators have adopted it in the hope that it will also raise their students' performances on accountability tests.
• The expanded use of formative assessment is supported not only by instructional logic but also by the conclusions of a well-conceived and skillfully implemented meta-analysis by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam.” (Popham, 2008)After synthesizing over 250 publications, Black and Wiliam, concluded that formative assessment is perhaps the most effective educational practice when it comes to improving academic achievement. In addition, formative assessment has a disproportionately beneficial impact on low‐achieving students. http://www.hanoverresearch.com/media/The-Impact-of-Formative-Assessment-and-Learning-Intentions-on-Student-Achievement.pdfIn
In 2009, JohnHattie published a meta-meta-analysis of education research called Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. In that study, Hattie found that formative assessment, when done correctly, had the highest effect size on student learning compared with other classroom strategies.
In recent years, neuroscientists have reported that retrievalpractice—recalling and applying previously learning—had a huge impact (as much as 50%) on student retention of learned content. Combining retrieval practice and formative assessment can significantly reduce forgetting and increase retention of lesson content.
Each school’s instructional framework provides teachers with numerous opportunities to use formative assessments in the beginning and ending of a lesson as well as when engaging students and during student practice in the body of the lesson. Teachers use formative assessment to see if the students have mastered the content of the lesson—did they get it?
Note that mastery means that the students can demonstrate both that they ‘know’ the content and that they can apply what they learned to future or past learning.
Formative Assessment in the Beginning and Ending of the Lesson
• Purposeful Learning – The expectation that all activities be purposeful means that teachers always have something to check on or assess for understanding.
• Focusing (Beginning) – Ask students to demonstrate mastery of the previous lesson through bell ringer, do now, or warm up.
• Knowing the Lesson’s Purpose (Beginning) – Ask students to repeat the learning target or essential question in their own words
• Ask students to predict (“prediction effect”) the “why” of the learning target/essential question (Beginning).
• Use a closure activity or ‘exit ticket’ that asks more than comprehension level, regurgitation questions. Ask students to both recall (retrieval practice) and apply what they learned to future or past learning (Ending).
• Purposeful reading, writing, and discussion - Reflection of some kind that addresses learning using evidence from the lesson that connects the learning to something else (Ending).
Formative Assessment in the Body of the Lesson (Practicing and Engagement)
• Connection activities that ask students to link new learning to older learning• Visualization activities where students draw some concept that has been learned
• Question design - ask kids to write their own questions with different levels of Bloom's involved
• Game play where appropriate can be a great tool as well• Blog writing as a reflective or questioning tool
• Mentor activities that ask the student to create something original using the learning as a model
• Problem solving activities where students apply skills to arrive at a solutionIf students can complete any or all of the above, then we know they have demonstrated proficiency on some level. As we seek to move kids to mastery, we need to be acutely aware of their progress.
To help students process information that is essential to understanding specific content, teachers can use an effective strategy that involves the following five elements.
Chunking means presenting new information in small, digestible bites. This requires carefully examining the manner in which students will experience new content. If the teacher intends to present content in the form of a lecture, he or she needs to determine the crucial points at which to pause so students can interact with one another about the new information.
For example, for a lecture on the topic of theoretical probability, the teacher might decide to make her first stop after she has discussed some basic differences between theoretical and experimental probability. If she's using a videotape or a video clip she's downloaded from the Internet, she might decide to stop the video about two minutes into the discussion of how theoretical probability is used in games of chance. This idea of stopping so that students can digest the information also holds true for demonstrations, exhibitions, guest speakers, reading content in a textbook, and the like.
When I trained to be teacher I was told little or nothing about how children learn. Because a lot of what we intuitively suppose about the process of learning is often flatly contradicted by cognitive science this was a huge handicap. Since you can’t think about stuff you don’t know, I spent all my time pontificating on the process
Take the With Math I Can growth mindset pledge and access worksheets, lesson plans and other growth mindset resources for use at home, in your classroom and in your district. From Amazon Education, TenMarks, Common Sense Education, ClassDojo, PERTS, Jo Boaler and more. Stop saying Iâ€™m not good at math.
These are my 15 takeaways from this inspirational teacher-coach’s speech: We are all average in some areas, and there is no fault to be assigned or shame in this. “They thought a C was all right for the neighbors’ children, because the neighbors children are all average. But they weren’t satisfied when their own — would make the teacher feel that they had failed, or the youngster had failed. And that’s not right.” Be the best version of YOU.
Advice, evaluation, grades—none of these provide the descriptive information that students need to reach their goals. What is true feedback—and how can it improve learning?
Who would dispute the idea that feedback is a good thing? Both common sense and research make it clear: Formative assessment, consisting of lots of feedback and opportunities to use that feedback, enhances performance and achievement.
Yet even John Hattie (2008), whose decades of research revealed that feedback was among the most powerful influences on achievement, acknowledges that he has "struggled to understand the concept" (p. 173). And many writings on the subject don't even attempt to define the term. To improve formative assessment practices among both teachers and assessment designers, we need to look more closely at just what feedback is—and isn't.
Robert Marzano has spent decades researching effective teaching practice. He and others have found that when we have high expectations, we treat students differently. When questioning students, we call on them more often, ask more challenging questions, provide more wait time, and probe for additional information.
Mel Riddile's insight:
"Robert Marzano has spent decades researching effective teaching practice. He and others have found that when we have high expectations, we treat students differently. When questioning students, we call on them more often, ask more challenging questions, provide more wait time, and probe for additional information."
Look at this sequence of numbers: 2, 4, 7, 8, 6, 5, 9, 0, 8, 7.
Now close your eyes and repeat them out loud. How many did you remember? Did you get them all right? If you are like most people, you probably were not able to remember those 10 random numbers after only looking at them for a second or two. Remembering 10 digits is not impossible, however. Actually, most of us do it all the time.
So, how can our brain make the transition from a string of 10 random digits to something that we can repeat back with ease? Sometimes, without even realizing it, we use a short-term memory strategy called chunking.
Chunking is one way to make remembering relatively lengthy strings of information a little bit easier. It is particularly useful when we only need to remember something for a short period of time. As its name implies, chunking involves taking long strings of information like numbers or letters and grouping (or chunking) them into smaller, more manageable bits of information. So, if you broke that 10 digit string down into smaller chunks, you would only have to remember 2 groups of 3 digits and one group of 4 digits. This method is much easier than remembering a long string of 10 digits.
When leaders empower people through a higher purpose, they don’t have to “create buy-in” or use other marketing tactics to win over their followers. Leaders who do find themselves acting something like a pusher — resorting to perks, tit-for-tats, and bonuses — might want to ask themselves if they’re missing some larger point. A leader isn’t a salesman. When Steve Jobs asked John Sculley his famous question, “Do you really want to spend your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” he was making just such a distinction. Selling sugared water might make you a few bucks — but only at the cost of doing something that matters. The purpose of a leader is to create a purpose.
No test results or any other kind of "data" are available with which to evaluate the effectiveness of either the program (standards) or the testing process. Further, with an emphasis on a set of standards and a demanding test (I've seen it...it is indeed much more difficult than Washington's current MSP), but without specific curriculum for and by which the standards writers can be held accountable, schools and teachers are on the line to produce success on a set of standards that are based on an intellectual premise, and one that is far from obviously best practice, because it's not clear there is such a thing.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is offering states and local school districts a lesson plan of sorts to cut the amount of time that students spend on those fill-in-the-bubble and other standardized tests. The Education Department released guidance Tuesday to states and local school districts outlining different ways they can use existing federal money to reduce testing in the nation's public schools. It follows a call by President Barack Obama last October to cap standardized testing and complaints by teachers, parents and others that that too many hours are spent "teaching to the test." In a letter to state school officials, the department details how certain federal money can be used to cut tests. States and districts, for example, could use federal education dollars intended for the development of state assessments to instead conduct audits of their tests to see if they have redundant assessments or low-quality ones that could be eliminated.
Few issues are hotter now than disciplinary literacy. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) established disciplinary reading goals for grades 6–12, and most of the research on that topic has been done at those grades, too. That means elementary teachers can breathe a sigh of relief, right? Not really. There might not be specific disciplinary goals set for the young'uns, but elementary teachers still have an important role to play if their students are to eventually reach college- and career-readiness.
Carol Dweck’s research at Stanford shows that a “growth mindset” (believing abilities aren’t fixed and you can improve) is a key element of success. And Angela Duckworth has found this attitude is tied to grit:
…we have found moderate, positive associations between grit and growth mindset, suggesting that growth mindset, like optimistic explanatory style, may contribute to the tendency to sustain effort toward and commitment to goals.
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