Align Assess Achieve Districtwide Inservice  August 23 and 24, 2011

Why does formative assessment matter?


 Where am I going?      





Emotional Impact of Assessment

Reflection: Think of a time when you are the person taking the test and it went was it set up to make it a positive experience.  What about a time when it was negative...what made it negative?

ACTIVITY: Build an positive assessment framework story from positive and negative stories....




IDEA: Use a grade response sheet for quizzes or homework...lets kids grade it....shows them what learning target each question addressed....they decide if it was a simple mistake or a need to review or study the ownership to the kids. Lets them see what material they get or don’t get...allows teachers to give them targeted review or additional practice.

IDEA: Allowing kids to retake assessments gives kids a chance to continue to work on their learning...and identify areas of continued learning...having kids take ownership and relearn materials increases student involvement.


IDEA :Write /Chat...write, on a big notepaper, a response to a prompt...then respond to what other people have written by drawing arrows to connect your responses to other people's works better if you make students stand.  Then post all the posters and have kids walk around the room (called a Gallery Walk), circle any statement that you feel strongly about...then write two in their notebook, then on a card...tell them you have 3 minutes to write about one of the write....then turn in.  You can use this as test review by putting the big question or ideas in the middle and having kids respond, do more of the cafe approach where you have 5 or 6 different question stations and they rotate each question and see responses fro other groups and add to them..then do the gallery walk to see all the a teacher, you can see the misconceptions. You can also have kids color code similar comments to look for shared ideas, consensus on a topic or things that are most important to the group.

Write/Chat Prompt We Used: Todays students are bored with many components of the curr...some would argue that new basics must replace some of what we have taught for years...we need to restructure our curriculum to better prepare our students for the future....prompt for the write response activity.  Once students have responded, give them a week of studying and learning and tell them to.go back and look at your original statement. They will either shift their thinking or they may decide they strengthened their thinking. Write again and include evidence from the reading, writing and discussion they have done to support their shifts or strengthening.

Questioning can be a valid form of formative a preassessment, a midstream assessment or at the end to look for growth and understanding...this is an easy way to step into formative assessment.  Have kids all write down a question and pick three to address in class.

Planning questions in advance is important...if you don’t plan questions ahead of time, you don’t get the results you want. Move away from asking them easy questions....if they dont answer immediately, we tend to reduce back to very basic questions..which robs the class of the opportunity to learn...force them to answer the questions and do the work....If you say" we are not moving forward until we get five reasons for the civil war" dont move forward..say who is going to get us started.  This is important..if you give in and do the work for wont know if they really know it or not.  Hands up does not give you any useful info.....share out strategies on how to make sure that you are hearing from everyone.


Why would kids want to do work that isn’t worth points?

IDEAS : dont tell them it isnt for points.   Convey that what you are doing is valuable and that it will be used to change something in class.  

What is our game plan for kids who don’t want to do the work we want them to do?

IDEAS: develop a grade contract with the class that defines the quality of work and the mastery level you expect for each traditional letter grade then let them know all work they do is part of the grade contract, offering choices for how to “show what they know”. Find little ways for those kids to experience little successes. One option...if you have done 80% of your formative assessment work,you earn the right to correct your summative assessment.  Or....give them a form, when you take the summative assessment and you don’t do well....if you want to retake, parent signs off on your estimation and explanation of why you think you didn’t do well and a plan for what you will do to prepare before taking it again.

How do we use formative assessment to boost the scores of high achievers?

 IDEAS: it raises the bar...still use the are we helping them to stretch their learning....add in real world applications, performance early in the unit who is getting it and give them extensions. Need more examples of how to extend work....and provide interesting opportunities....not a packet of more work....This would be a good place for service learning. Collaborate with others.   Use Carol Ann Tomlison gifted curriculum compacting...18 tech for challenging kids.    Many of these are based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy - coming up with a variety of lesson activities that address the same content or learning target, but fall at different levels on the Bloom’s chart.



The Alignment Key

Common Core

Target Date for Assessment of Core Standards  2014-2015

Four Strands

History, Social Studies, Science and tech subjects

FEEDBACK FROM DISCUSSION: k-5 Integrate reading and writing across the curriculum but not so much in the secondary grades.

Making connections to reading and writing and content areas like science and social studies...teaching content area teachers reading and writing strategies.  How can we chunk ideas together. What strategies can we embed to help them with literacy and writing skills.

The 10 core standards in literacy and reading are the same in ELA, Soc and Science across my science class we read, so what are the strategies that I can teach them to help them decode the reading or write ideas successfully.  PE classes can journal and do this aligned to the common core literacy standards.  

Common Core Math

k8 organized by grade level with domains that progress over several grades

grade introductions give 2-4 focal points each grade level

HS standards presented by conceptual theme...number and quantity,algebra, functions, modeling, geometry, statistics and probability.

Changes to look for:

We now have to change the HOW are we teaching and the WHAT are we teaching.


CCR  career and college readiness k12. with grade level specific standards

Math Domains are broken into Clusters of related standards....standard is a grade level now Strand or Domain

Benchmark....CCR and Clusters


GUIDING QUESTIONS: Assessment is planned for 2014-15.  

Enduring Understandings...big idea powerful statement for the teachers what do we want students to take with them into the future...these are for the Teacher...setting the destination in our own teacher terms. Must last beyond one unit of study.   Like Science is a way of investigating the world we live in.

Essential Questions ...Engaging hook..thought provoking question to engage students. The deeper meaning you want students to obtain..This is what you want students to continually come back to.  These don’t have easy answers...there should not be a basic answer they can find in their book...example.  What are the reasons for conflict between Native Americans and settlers vs was conflict inevitable (this is more like an enduring understanding) provide an approach to thinking about any given concept or content, inspire students to think, ex. how do I use what I know to figure out what I don’t know, what is wellness, how do my choices help make me a better reader, who will read my writing.

Learning Targets....scaffolding....steps that students need to climb as they move toward deeper understanding. This is where formative assessment comes in.  Learning Targets are the steps students take as they move toward understanding.

Larger grain targets...may have more than one piece.

Smaller grain targets are more specific and deal with only one thing at a time


The type of target determines the type of assessment.

Sample For Essential Questions

Using Mona Lisa’s Smile video does the creation and use of essential questions help to change her classroom...."is it any good" "what is art" what makes it good or bad...who decides what is good or bad taking role of facilitating a conversation

ACTIVITY: List your units...what are the things that keep coming up over and over...these are the essential questions...and teachers keep referring to these same questions year after year.

Let go of TELLING UNDERSTANDING...let the kids grapple with the deeper meanings.