Old-school teachers like to teach and test, teach, and test. Tests and quizzes can be effective measures of a student’s progress, but they are rarely used to their full potential.
If a quiz or test reveals that there were concepts that students did not master, then teachers need to re-teach.
This concept defines the term “formative assessment.” As a teacher you should constantly check on students’ progress toward the lesson objective or unit objective(s) and modify your instruction according to results.
Formative assessments should be used to give immediate feedback to students on their progress so they know what skills and concepts they need to work on to improve.
This style of teaching focuses on mastery learning. Once a student masters a concept, then he or she can master another concept and another, etc. For example, a student must master addition and subtraction before learning multiplication and division.
The key to creating effective formative assessments is to keep them short so you can correct and return them (if necessary) in a timely manner. Grade them if you want, but the important thing is that you know students are learning.
Here, for example, are four formative assessment ideas you can use in class:
Examples of Formative Assessments
Here is a list of examples of formative assessment ideas other than quizzes and tests:
- Brief in-class writing assignment
- Cause and Effect Chart
- Chapter Skim
- Class/group discussions
- Class Q and A
- Concept Maps
- GIST sentences
- Graphic organizers
- Exit Cards (aka Exit Tickets or Exit Passes)
- Homework exercises
- Interview Students
- KWL Charts
- Newspaper Headline
- Notebook Exchange
- Picture with Caption
- Review Games
- Summarize Main Ideas
- Student Surveys