One view of formative assessment integration from a posting to youtube.
First I would like to say thank-you to all who attended and contributed to the discussion about formative assessment. I have presented a summary of the discussion below. There were three points on the agenda: an example of clickers in the classroom, case study learning and a discussion of how Formative Assessment worked or did not work for each teacher.
Summary of the discussion points
- Lateral discussions between students are important, however they happen, and we need to remember as teachers to allow this productive and informative process to occur. If formative assessment practices allow this to happen, then all the better.
- It is important that students feel comfortable working with the teacher and asking for help as each works through individual problems and find answers. This can happen without formative assessment and some types of formative assessment activities such as clicker activities may work against this.
- A desire to use formative assessment practices and the frame of mind that has teachers looking to engage students on different levels as well as changing up the activities from time to time are important factors to consider when deciding how to teach. (A little too much going on in that sentence, but you get the gist and it matches what can happen in a bubbly active classroom too.)
- Almost any activity can become a formative assessment tool to inform students and or a teacher about where students are and in regards to what they know. This may range from a unit pre-test to a chapter summary that will be presented to the class.
- It is important that students be able to express their understanding of the material in a variety of ways and not just the way that is in their notes or their textbooks. These different ways of expressing their knowledge may mean illustrations, formative assessment activities, essays, etc,
- Formative assessment activities will require students to be engaged during class time. This engaged may be to show what they know or don’t know in some cases or to try and relate their knowledge to a new or novel situation.
- The particular grade or class can make a huge difference in the success of a particular activity. Two teachers described the lack of success for two simulations, while two others differed on the value of competition in a class activity. In terms of competition there may need to be none competitive for the hypercompetitive students, while anything that motivates or energizes a particular section of students is great.