Formative assessments are tests that informally assess a student’s growth usually during instruction. These are essential because they allow us to progress monitor in real time a student’s understanding of a lesson, objective or concept. Formative assessments also allow educators to provide feedback and adjust their instruction when it is apparent that students are just not getting it. Examples of formative assessments include:
- Observation (ie: during peer discussions)
- Student notes
- Exit slips (ie: check for understandings/1-3 question quizzes)
- Dipsticks (randomly selecting students to respond, thumbs up/down if understand or not
Summative assessments are more formal and/or generalized tests that can conclude a final unit of study or grade level. Here is where you want to give students negotiables or options for their final assessment to ensure appropriate measurement of growth for all of our diverse learners. There should be an assessment that plays to student’s different learning strengths such as dramatization, visual, linguistic, etc. Examples of summative assessments include:
- Negotiables (centered around unit objectives)
- Final play or skit
- Powerpoint Presentation
- Poster Board presentation
- Create a video presentation
Non-negotiables: standardized- depends on district and grade levels (these are mandated standardized tests)
So why again do we need to use various assessments to test students and not just standardized assessments?
- Students learn differently and we are accountable for the growth of all students
- To provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning
- To get a holistic picture of a student’s ability
- To progress monitor during lessons and adjust instruction in real time because...
Not all students are created equal.