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Unpacking Formative Assessment

Making instructional adjustments to move learning forward
by

Rob Reetz

on 25 January 2016

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Transcript of Unpacking Formative Assessment

“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.”
(Popham, 2008)

An assessment for learning, rather than of learning.
(Wiliam, 2011)

FA helps teachers reduce the gap between where students are and where they need to end up when instruction concludes.
FA is more about teaching than testing.
It is an instruction enhancing process.
Defining Formative Assessment
In pairs complete these metaphors:

Formative assessment is like a pair of eye glasses because...

Formative assessment is like an iPod because...

Formative Assessment is like a ladder beacuse...

Formative Assessment is like a hamburger because...

End of presentation Assessment for learning


Have students graph results to end of lesson quizzes
Set goal of 70 percent or higher on all quizzes
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Help students own their own learning
Teachers must show students how to become self-correcting and self-directed learners.
Self-directed learners
How can students use FA to alter their own learning tactics?
If whatever a student is doing to learn something isn’t working (as revealed by assessment results) their teacher needs to suggest/provide strategic alternatives for learning.
Students make a Tactical Learning Adjustment





Strand these tests by learning target
Last Chance instructional Adjustments
Short quiz
Use mini white-boards
A, B, C, D Cards (4 Corners)
Examples of FA for making Immediate instructional Adjustments
feedback should:
Be more work for the recipient
Cause thinking
Provide guidance on how to improve
Feedback
Using your White-boards…
Write the 4Ms criteria of well written lesson objectives (prepare to show).

On a large sheet:
Write and post two learning targets that meet all of the 4M’s criteria.
Exit Slip
(Wiliam, 2010)
Use the following questions in your PLCs when planning a unit or lesson:
Why are we teaching this material?
What’s the outcome we desire?
How does this outcome relate to what we’ll teach tomorrow and to what our students need to have learned to be ready for the 4th, 8th, 10th grade?
Writing learning targets in PLCs
Great lessons (and teaching for that matter) begin with effective unit planning
Unit planning means methodically asking how one day’s lesson builds off the previous day, prepares for the next day, and how these objectives lead to mastery.

“What is the learning progression students will follow in achieving mastery of your ultimate unit objectives?”
MADE FIRST - Planning great lessons
Often teachers ask themselves:
“What am I going to do tomorrow?”
Leads to thinking about an activity, rather than an objective
Shows lessons are planned singly, rather than a part of a planned learning progression.

Objective based question would be:
“What do I want my students to know or be able to do by the end of tomorrow’s lesson?”
Objectives are measurable. Activities are not.
MADE FIRST – Begin with The End
A good teacher:
Establishes where the students are in their learning
Identifies the learning destination
Carefully plans a route
Begins the learning journey
Makes regular checks on progress on the way
Makes adjustments to the course as conditions dictate
(William 2010)
2
An educational positioning system
Take a group of 50 teachers:
Students taught by the most effective teacher in that group of 50 teachers learn in six months what those taught by an average teacher learn in a year.

1
Teachers impact achievement
Usually involves more lengthy instructional activities focused on remedying more substantial student deficits – things that can’t be addressed with a very quick fix or simple redirection.
Often take place at the end of class.
Exit Slip
End of lesson quiz --- need some technology!
Classrooom Whip
No-Opt out session - Seating chart inside plastic sleeve
Near Future Instructional Adjustments
Make an immediate instructional adjustment
4 Applications of Formative Assessment
Preparation is imperative – must determine when in a lesson to assess learning and what you’ll do instructionally once you get the results.
Gather data, analyze it real time and adjust instruction accordingly
Immediate instructional adjustment
(Lemov, 2010)
Collaborative Learning
Lesson Objectives:
Given a series of formative assessment related metaphors, I will demonstrate understanding by generating deeper levels of personal meaning.

I will apply my understanding of no less than two applications of formative assessment by effectively embedding them within my lesson plan, which I'll present 8-7-12.
Strategies and practical techniques for classroom formative assessment
Effective objectives should be written so that success in achieving them can be measured, ideally be the end of the class period.
Example: Measure success by using an Exit Ticket
Short activity, question or set of questions that students must complete and leave you with prior to departing

Thoughts are not measured, unless they are described or applied.
“No question is worth asking if you don’t have time to also ask why” (Wiliam, 2010)
Well written objectives are MEASURABLE

Use student friendly language
5
Share learning intentions
Must be “kid-friendly”
4 M’s – well written objectives are:
Made First
Begin with the End
Manageable
Most Important
Measurable
Posted and referenced
Strategies for writing Learning Targets
Students assessing their peers’ work:
“Pre-flight checklist”
“Two stars and a wish”
Activate students as learning resources
Make an immediate instructional adjustment

Make a near future instructional adjustment
4 Applications of Formative Assessment
Responses
[Butler(1988) Br. J. Educ. Psychol., 58 1-14]
What do you think happened for the students given both scores and comments?
A Gain: 30%; Attitude: all positive
B. Gain: 30%; Attitude: high scorers positive, low scorers negative
C. Gain: 0%; Attitude: all positive
D. Gain: 0%; Attitude: high scorers positive, low scorers negative
E. Something else
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Formative Assessment Process
A well written objective should focus on what’s most important on the path to college
focus on appropriate content/grade level standards from the common core, college readiness or core content

Students will construct a poster to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Students will view scenes from the film version of The Crucible

At the end of today’s lesson, I will apply my understanding of the 5 W’s to summarize non-fiction text.
Well written objectives are MOST IMPORTANT
An effective objective should be of a size and scope that can be taught in a single lesson.

Thumbs up/down – are these objectives manageable?
Students will be able to add/subtract fractions with like and unlike denominators.

By the end of today’s lesson, I will be able to revise sentences to ensure correct subject verb agreement (in compound and complex sentences)
Writing MANAGEABLE learning targets
Make an immediate instructional adjustment
4 Applications of Formative Assessment
The physical environment of the classroom should support lesson goals and allow for Formative Assessment
(Lemov, 2010)
Pair Share
Helps activate students as
Learning resources for one another
Break the Plain
Every row is the front row
Every student can be accessed
from in front or behind.
Collaborative Learning
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[Butler(1988) Br. J. Educ. Psychol., 58 1-14]
264 low and high ability grade 6 students in 12 classes in 4 schools; analysis of 132 students at top and bottom of each class
Same teaching, same aims, same teachers, same classwork
Three kinds of feedback: scores, comments, scores+comments
Should Formative Assessments be graded?

→ → →
Target Curricular Aim
D

Subskill
C

Enabling Knowledge
B

Enabling Knowledge
A
Collect data and analyze at the end of class to inform the next days or few days of instruction
Stresses the importance of having a clearly defined learning progression.
Learning progression must adapt to what the evidence in student work suggests they need.
Near future adjustments are made to assess mastery prior to moving on to the next building block
Make a near future instructional adjustment
Make an immediate instructional adjustment
Make a near future instructional adjustment
For last chance instructional adjustments
Students make a learning tactical adjustment
4 Applications of Formative Assessment
(Wiliam & Thompson, 2008)
Five “key strategies”
The further a student is away from reaching your learning target, the more the enabling knowledge and sub-skills they’ll need to master .
→ → →
Target Curricular Aim
D

Subskill
C

Enabling Knowledge
B

Enabling Knowledge
A
A learning progression is a sequenced set of sub-skills or bodies of enabling knowledge that, it is thought, students must master en route to mastering a more complex curricular aim. -- (Popham, 2008)

A learning progression is the blueprint for the formative assessment process.
Learning Progression
(Wiliam & Thompson, 2008)
Clarifying, understanding, and sharing learning intentions
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Five “key strategies”
Peer
How to get there
Where the learner is
Where the learner is going
Activating students as owners of their own learning
Providing feedback that moves learners forward
Activating students as learning
resources for one another
Engineering effective discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning
Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions
Teacher
Learner
Unpacking formative assessment
General Methods Learning Target:
Students will develop an effective lesson plan with sound learning objectives, embedded checks for understanding, and activities that elicit student understanding.
Whenever possible, make student work public
use 2 stars and a wish for peer to peer feedback
Adjustment necessary when:
Students don’t get it
Students are misunderstanding
Students have already reached the level of understanding the lesson is aiming for
Make a near future instructional adjustment
For last chance instructional adjustments
Students make a learning tactical adjustment
(Popham, 2010)
Show textual evidence
Paraphrase
Highlight/Annotate
VEST (paraphrase steps)
Determine argument
Enabling knowledge
C

Students make a learning tactical adjustment
For last chance instructional adjustments
Give exam/analyze data prior to Mid-Year report out (to PLC or Admin)
Check-Point tests weeks in advance of major testing
¾ -of-the-way unit tests
Students make a tactical learning adjustment
Make a near future instructional adjustment
For last chance instructional adjustments
Providing feedback that moves learners forward
Engineering effective classroom discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning
Classroom discourse, interactive whole-class teaching
Activating students as learning resources for one another
Collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, peer assessment

Activating students as owners of their own learning

Metacognition, motivation, interest, attribution, self-assessment
Einstein’s theory of insanity:
Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results

Do they learn better in pairs or by studying alone

How might students better utilize technology?

How closely are they processing the feedback on their assignments, tests or essays?

Are they willing to spend time before/after school?

What changes can they make to the way they study or complete work at home?
Start by giving students options for learning differently
Students assessing their own work:
With rubrics
With exemplars
Indicate score, but not what a student got wrong --- make them locate their own mistakes

Self-assessment of understanding:
Traffic lights:
Red/green discs
Colored cups
Colored markers
Guessing
Unsure
Confident
Provide them choices in how they articulate what they know
Strategically place students together based on strengths and needs
Circle the Sage -- use FA data to identify mastery students. Have sages articulate what they know and how they came to know it.
Give students opportunities to help create the criteria by which they'll be assessed.
In pairs write down the 4 applications of formative assessment along with an effective strategy within each application you are likely to use in your instruction.

Example:
immediate instructional adjustment
A, B, C, D Cards

Post and Explain learning intentions with success criteria at start of lesson/unit:
Provide opportunities for students to design their own tests.
Provide students with opportunities to help construct a learning target (perhaps for the next lesson).
Comment-only grading
Explicit reference to rubrics
Suggestions on how to improve rather than giving complete solutions

Hot Seat Questioning – (No hands up)
Script Questions
Popsicle stick
Cold Call Session
Flip over playing card
Crumpled Paper Toss
Student reported level of understanding
Traffic lights (Red, Yellow, Green)
Colored cups
Colored discs
Colored markers (red/green)
Thumbs Up/Down
Stand up/Stay seated
Answer by moving from one side of the room to the other
EssaY - Match the comments to the essay
+, -, = for feedback that focuses on growth
praise improvement, not effort or achievement
Less feedback is better!
Clarifying, understanding, and sharing learning intentions
Providing feedback that moves learners forward
Engineering effective classroom discussions, tasks, and activities that elicit evidence of learning

Activating students as learning resources for one another
Collaborative learning, reciprocal teaching, peer assessment
Activating students as owners of their own learning:
Metacognition, motivation, interest, attribution, self-assessment
Students taught by the least effective teacher in that group of 50 teachers will take two years to achieve the same learning
(Hanushek & Rivkin, 2006)

In the classrooms of the most effective teachers, students from disadvantaged backgrounds learn at the same rate as those from advantaged backgrounds
(Hamre & Pianta, 2005).
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