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Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
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Formative Assessment Works

by Mel Riddile


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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


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Beth Crisafulli Hofer's comment, January 10, 6:54 PM
I'm going to add some of these to our framework!
LET Team's curator insight, March 19, 6:44 PM

“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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


Andy Fetchik's curator insight, March 21, 11:34 AM

“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, John Hattie 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 retrieval practice—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.


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Some of America's Top Teachers Went to Finland. Here's What They Learned

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Six state teachers of the year traveled to Finland to see how one of the world's top education systems treats its teachers.
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Think teachers can’t be fired because of unions? Surprising results from new study.

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What if highly unionized districts actually fired more teachers than others?
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Synergy or Consensus: Which One Do You Build?

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Meet, Model & Motivate
Synergy happens when we trust people to bring their best selves forward, and don't judge them based on who we think they are. Consensus building often happens when we think we have the best answer already, and want people to come with us, at the same time we already think we know who they are.
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Teacher Recruitment Outlook Is Bleak

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A looming teacher shortage is now worse than ever ("Interest in Becoming a Teacher Continues to Decline Among U.S. High School Graduates," (act.org, Jul. 6). According to the Condition of Future Educators 2015, only four percent of the 1.9 million 2015 high school graduates who took the ACT test said they wanted a career as a teacher, counselor or administrator.  That compares with five percent in 2014 and seven percent in 2010. Moreover, those who are interested on average have lower achievement levels.
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3 Reasons Kids Struggle With Math And How to Help

3 Reasons Kids Struggle With Math And How to Help | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
3. Students Don’t Practice

The spiral approach to teaching math seems to be the preferred way that most school districts are having their teachers present today’s math skills. But, math is and should be systematic with learning basic facts.

Children aren’t practicing repetitively at home with the basics in order to build speed and have that extra exposure. Also, older children tend to watch and listen to their teachers present their math lessons in class, and they go home and think they truly understand what was taught. But, for many students; when they pick up the pencil and paper to try a math problem on their own, they can’t complete the problem independently. Students need repetitive practice when it comes to learning any new math concepts, in the classroom and at home.
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Start Teaching With a Student-Focused Backward Design

Start Teaching With a Student-Focused Backward Design | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Educators worry a lot about the content of their courses, lectures and presentations. They spend too much time preparing lesson plans. Don’t get me wrong—content is necessary. If you don’t have basic content knowledge, you should not be a teacher. Yet, for real learning to occur, we need to change our focus from content to the process of learning. When you make that mental shift, your preparation for the class will be very different. You will put yourself in your students’ positions and consider whether material you want to discuss is even relevant to your students’ needs. What do you want your students to have learned at the end of the course, and why?"

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Why High School Students Need More Than College Prep

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For nearly 70 years, one of the nation's largest student organizations has hammered home this message - teenagers need job skills whether they're headed to college or not. And students are listening.
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Do No Harm: Flexible and Smart Grading Practices

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Have students take responsibility for their grades and behavior by strategically offering opportunities to redo assignments, retake tests, and reflect on their performance.
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"Any effective school is worth copying!"

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Any effective school is worth copying,  the reformers say. It doesn’t matter if it has a teachers union or not, whether the focus is great literature, performing arts or science. All models are welcome, as long as students are learning. 
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Follow the 70-20-10 Model of Professional Development

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Microlearning is replacing costly traditional employee training programs that yielded uneven results, at best.
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5 Ways for Teachers to get Started on Twitter 

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Social Media and education have a complicated relationship. Most educators come into contact with it for the first time through a negative experience – a disciplinary action involving students or even peers. As such, many administrators have actively cautioned teachers against the use of Social Media, and many educators themselves have condemned Social Media as …
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Schools ride new wave in writing

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Schools nationwide are under pressure from new state standards to increase students’ writing proficiency. Here's a look at some of the strategies and tools innovative districts have deployed.
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Report: 6 million students miss too much school

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More than 6 million students—representing 13 percent of the K12 population—missed at least 15 days of school in 2013-14, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Every district has attendance data, but most haven’t been calculating chronic absence,” says Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, a national initiative to increase student achievement by increasing attendance. “If you’re looking at access and equity in schools—whether or not kids are in school so they have a chance to learn—is a huge indicator of whether we’re creating equal opportunities.”
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A Growth Mindset May Counteract Effects of Poverty on Achievement, Study Says

A Growth Mindset May Counteract Effects of Poverty on Achievement, Study Says | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Having a growth mindset may help buffer students from low-income families from the effects of poverty on academic achievement, researchers found in a large-scale, first-of-its kind study of 168,000 10th-grade students in Chile. 

But poor students studied by researchers were also less likely to have a growth mindset than their higher income peers, researchers found.

Stanford Professor Carol Dweck—who coauthored the study along with Stanford researcher Susana Claro and PERTS Lab founder David Paunesku—popularized the idea of growth mindset.
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Dr. Theresa Kauffman's curator insight, July 19, 9:28 AM
I am so excited to see this study. We have known for decades the power teachers have to convince students to achieve higher. When you believe in them, they rise to that bar. This is very powerful!
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Use Graphic Organizers for Effective Learning

Graphic organizers are important and effective pedagogical tools for organizing content and ideas and facilitating learners’ comprehension of newly acquired information. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences posits that students are better able to learn and internalize information when more than one learning modality is employed in an instructional strategy. Since graphic organizers present material through the visual and spatial modalities (and reinforce what is taught in the classroom), the use of graphic organizers helps students internalize what they are learning.
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Don’t Teach Grit. Embed It!

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In Paul Tough’s new book, he writes that the people who are best at engendering “noncognitive”—or character—abilities like grit in students hardly ever mention these skills in the classroom. It’s an observation that has won attention and admirers such as New York Times columnist David Brooks.
B
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Summer Math Loss

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across the socioeconomic spectrum, kids arrive back at school every fall much worse off in mathematics than they finished in the spring. On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of learning in math over the summer — and teachers have to give up weeks of class time, or more, to make up for that loss.
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So who says competition in the classroom is inevitable?

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In this extract from her new book Beautiful Failures, the Guardian’s Lucy Clark tackles the culture of contests and rankings at school, arguing that for children – indeed all of us – it is unnecessary and damaging
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Roll the Dice for Increased Student Engagement

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By having a random way of calling on students, teachers make sure that students are engaged and ready to participate. See how one teachers uses die and seating charts to engage his students.
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Dr. Theresa Kauffman's curator insight, July 10, 5:05 PM
I have used calling randomly on students with craft sticks but this is another way to keep students engaged. They need to be ready to answer any question at any time.
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Timeless Note-Taking Systems for Students

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Note-taking is deeply personal. Learn some popular note-taking methods and see how they work with both pen and paper and digitally.
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How Teachers Can Help 'Quiet Kids' Tap Their Superpowers

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By understanding how to reach introverts, she said, teachers can get at those other issues. Because if they don't start to look past the students with their hands up, "we're all gonna miss out on a lot of brilliant ideas."
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What is the real value of homework?

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homework assigned is not of very good quality, which could mean a lot of different things and absent more specificity sounds like a homework excuse. Another, better explanation is that practice doesn’t do much unless there is rapid feedback, and that’s usually absent at home.
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Summertime Questions About School Culture

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Think about how the culture of the entire organization can make a difference in how the students and adults can flourish. This is an essential leadership responsibility.
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