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What do we know about Formative Assessment?. With a partner: add ideas on sticky notes to poster. Formative Assessment. Formative vs Summative. Summative: The Autopsy Formative: The Checkup. Formative Assessment.

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what do we know about formative assessment
What do we know about Formative Assessment?
  • With a partner: add ideas on sticky notes to poster

Formative Assessment

formative vs summative
Formative vs Summative

Summative: The Autopsy

Formative: The Checkup

formative assessment
Formative Assessment

“Formative assessment is a planned process in which teachers or students use assessment-based evidence to adjust what they are currently doing.”

-W. James Popham Transformative Assessement

characteristics of formative assessments
Characteristics of Formative Assessments
  • They are assessments FOR learning, not assessments OF learning
  • Designed to assist learning, not grading
  • Make students’ thinking visible to themselves and to others
key features of formative assessment
Key Features of Formative Assessment
  • Formative Assessment is a process not any particular test
  • Formative Assessment takes place during instruction
  • The function of this feedback is to help teachers and students make adjustments that will improve learning
formative assessment continuum
Formative Assessment Continuum

Informal Unplanned






1 write to learn prompts
1. Write-to-learn Prompts


  • R= role
  • A= audience
  • F= format
  • T= topic
1 write to learn prompts1
1. Write-to-learn Prompts
  • Role: a tree
  • Audience: light
  • Format: text message
  • Topic: thanks for what you give me
1 write to learn prompts2
1. Write-to-learn Prompts


  • Admit Slips: Describe how sound waves travel.
  • Crystal Ball: What will we learn about today?
  • Exit Slips: The 3 best things you learned today…
2 fact first questioning
2. Fact First Questioning
  • State the Fact
  • Why is X an example of Y?


Glucose is a form of food for plants. Why is glucose considered a food for plants?

Sandstone is a sedimentary rock. Why is sandstone considered a sedimentary rock?

3 annotated student drawings
3. Annotated Student Drawings

4 graphic organizers
4. Graphic Organizers



  • Assessment for learning
  • Makes student thinking visible
  • Check for understanding
  • For feedback not grading
  • Happens during learning
  • A process not a particular test

Formative Assessment

  • Probes
  • Whiteboards
  • Clickers
  • Graphic organizers
  • WASL
  • End of unit tests
  • SAT
  • GRE

5 response cards

Response Cards: index cards, dry erase boards, magnet boards

Checking For Understanding--(Fisher & Frey, ASCD 2007.)

Audience Response Systems (ARS): clickers, eggs, responders, cell phones- technology based response systems

6 physical response
6. Physical Response




Fist to Five

  • Human Scatterplots
  • Four corners
  • Sticky Bars
four corners
Four Corners
  • Show students a Friendly Talk, Concept Cartoon, Familiar Phenomenon, or Prediction probe
  • Students go to a “corner” of the room based on their answer choice
  • Students discuss answer choice with their common response group
human scatterplot
Human Scatterplot
  • Give students a formative assessment probe with 3-4 choices
  • Students create a scatterplot based on a answer choice (A, B, or C) and confidence in answer.

Front of room

Confidence: Low to High

sticky bars
Sticky Bars
  • Give students a probe with 3-5 forced choices
  • Students anonymously write answer choice on a sticky note
  • Create a bar graph of choices












7 give one to get one
7. Give One to Get One
  • This technique is best done when students are using science notebooks. The entire activity should be done with students in a standing position.
  • Each student is asked to find a partner with whom he/she compares notes.
  • The student takes a moment to identify the information they have in common.
give one to get one continued
Give One to Get One-Continued
  • Each student identifies something he did not record but his partner did.
  • This new information is then recorded in each student’s notebook.
  • In effect, each student gives one and gets one.
  • Pairs can report to whole class regarding the transaction.
8 think pair share
8. Think, Pair, Share
  • Think-Pair-Share and Write-Pair-Share
  • Think or write about your answer individually.
  • 2. Pair with a partner and discuss your answers.
  • Share your answer (or your partner’s answer) when called upon.
9 reflective prompts



formative assessment resources
Formative Assessment Resources
  • Science Formative Assessment: Keeley
  • Checking for Understanding: Fisher + Frey
formative assessment menu
Formative Assessment Menu

Take 5 minutes: pick a strategy # 1-9 you will use

Share with a partner how you will use this strategy?


What will you do with the information from students?

10 formative assessment probes concept cartoons
10. Formative Assessment Probes & Concept Cartoons
  • A probe is a purposefully designed question that reveals more than just an answer.
  • A probe elicits a response that helps teachers identify students’ ideas about phenomena or a concept.
  • Probes are also used to encourage thinking and sharing of ideas.
developing probes
Developing Probes

Specific learning goal(s)

Commonly held ideas


Assessment Probe

three probe components
Three Probe Components

Assessment Prompt

Forced Choices




Forced Choice(s)


types of probes
Types of Probes

Justified List:

Determines how students apply scientific ideas to a variety of objects or phenomena.

types of probes continued
Types of Probes (continued)

Prediction Probe

Asks students what they think will happen in a familiar situation

types of probes continued1
Types of Probes (continued)

Familiar Phenomena Probe

Elicit thinking about relevant, everyday phenomena.

types of probes continued2
Types of Probes (continued)

Friendly Talk Probe

Set in a context where two or more individuals talk about their ideas of science concepts.

Can also be in the form of a Concept Cartoon

types of probes continued3
Types of Probes (continued)

Comparison Probe

Students are given contrasting objects or processes to compare and are asked to select and justify which one matches the given statement.

  • National Science Education Standards
  • Science Curriculum Topic Study
  • Science Matters
  • Science For All Americans
  • Benchmarks for Science Literacy
  • Making Sense of Secondary Science