Formative Assessment in the English Language Arts Classroom Tracy Fair Robertson English Coordinator Virginia Department of Education
“Informative assessment isn’t an end in itself, but the beginning of better instruction.” Carol Ann Tomlinson
Defining Formative Assessment • Keys- be flexible, allow for change, expect diversity • Lesson plans not set in stone
Formative Assessment Testing companies in the K–12 education market, seeking to support the trend toward more testing, sometimes advertise products as "formative assessments." This adds to the confusion by encouraging the idea that it's the test itself that's formative (Chappuis, 2005).
Formative Assessment But in many districts, formative assessments are really interim benchmark assessments that provide information about progress toward a set of expectations. These only occur a few times per year and are used only minimally for making instructional decisions. In other words, it is akin to taking your temperature but doing nothing even if the thermometer indicates you have a fever. A Formative Assessment System for Writing Improvement Nancy Frey & Douglas Fisher English Journal 103.1 (2013): 66-71
Formative Assessment NCTE Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing: Standard 2 The teacher is the most important agent of assessment. Most educational assessment takes place in the classroom, as teachers and students interact with one another. Teachers design, assign, observe, collaborate in, and interpret the work of students in their classrooms. They assign meaning to interactions and evaluate the information that they receive and create in these settings. In short, teachers are the primary agents, not passive consumers, of assessment information. It is their ongoing, formative assessments that primarily influence students’ learning.
The best literacy assessments take the student’s and the assignment’s contexts into account. http://blogs.ncte.org/index.php/2015/03/a-common-language-for-responding-to-writing/
Formative AssessmentvsSummative Assessment Formative Summative Results used to make judgments Results in grades Provides information about knowledge attainment Evaluates student learning at end of instructional unit • NOT a product • Delivers information DURING instruction • Used to check students’ understanding and plan instruction
Formative Assessment • Socratic seminar • Text-dependent questions • Exit/Admit Slips • Learning/Response logs • Graphic Organizers • Peer/Self Assessments • Visual representations • Kinesthetic assessments
Exit Slips • Rate your understanding of today’s topic from 1-10. • Discuss one way today’s lesson can be used in your life • Predict what we will learn next in this unit and why. • What would you like to review during the next session? • Summarize today’s lesson in 25 carefully chosen words • The best part of class today was. . .
Observation Folder • Teacher records notes about student learning- keeps a running record of student progress • Use overlapping index cards- one per student
Formative Assessment Tools:- Student Self Evaluations http://www.exemplars.com/resources/rubrics/student-rubrics
Formative Assessment Tools:- Student Self Evaluations http://www.exemplars.com/assets/files/seed.pdf
Bibliography Atkin, J. M., Black, P., & Coffey, J. (2001). Classroom Assessment and the National Science Standards. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Chappuis, S. (2005). Is formative assessment losing its meaning? Education Week, 24(44), 38. Committee, NCTE Executive. "Formative Assessment That Truly Informs Instruction: A Position Statement." (2013): n. pag. NCTE Library. Web. 30 Apr. 2015 Fournel, Jenna. A Common Language for Responding to Writing. Web blog post. Literacy & NCTE. 14 March 2015. Web. 2 June 2015. Standards for the Assessment of Reading and Writing, Revised Edition (2009). National Council of Teachers of English, International Reading Association, 2009. Web. 14 Apr. 2015. Stiggins, R., Arter, J., Chappuis, J., & Chappuis, S. (2006). Classroom assessment for student learning: Doing it right—using it well. Portland, OR: Educational Testing Service. Wees, David. 56 Examples of Formative Assessment. Web blog post. The Reflective Educator. Word Press. 12 December 2013. Web. 8 June 2015.
Contact Information • Virginia Department of Education Tracy Fair Robertson • English Coordinator • Tracy.Robertson@doe.virginia.gov • 804-371-7585 • Assessment Office • Student_assessment@doe.virginia.gov • 804-225-2102