The Classroom Experiment – This 2 part television series from the BBC features the Hertswood School and Dylan Wiliam. This 10-week experiment shows what happens when theory and practice regarding formative assessment meet up in the classroom. “The results were astonishing; students … made twice the progress as others in the same year group.
If you haven’t been to the Teaching Channel yet, you might find this Stop Light technique interesting. Asking students to reflect and identify what stopped their learning in class today can provide the teacher with useful information to help answer the formative assessment question of “Where is the learner now?”
The entire September issue of Educational Leadership (ASCD) was about feedback, that key formative assessment strategy to help move the learner and learning forward. This article by Grant Wiggins – Seven Keys to Effective Feedback – was part of the issue.
Carol Dweck’s work on fixed and growth mindsets has been impactful for many teachers I have worked with over the past 6 years. That was when I first started sharing her ASCD article, The Perils and Promises of Praise. It is a short read that can really cause educators (and parent) to reflect on what they are saying. The 4 quick steps Carol shares on her site – How can you can from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset? – might be a useful conversation starter.
For my day job, I occasionally post on the topic of formative assessment. The NWEA blog also features posts about early learning and Common Core. You may want to check out the Teach.Learn.Grow. blog.
Bill Zima has a nice post where he implicitly links formative assessment to competency-based education. He lays out 5 things that come from good assessment that provides evidence of learning.
While there are many apps that can be used to support formative assessment in the classroom, these are a couple I have found. You’ll have to let me know how they work, as I have no “I” devices.
- BubbleSheet is an app that allows students to provide answers like an ASR (all student response system) using an iPod, iPad, or iPhone. This is like using ABCD cards on an Apple device. To use BubbleSheet, you must be in a school that is using MasteryConnect.
- Stick Pick takes crafts stick in a cup to a different level. Pick a student at random just by giving your device a shake or tapping the screen. Stick Pick suggests question starters for learners at different levels and also records how well students respond during classroom discussions.