Professional Development

Formative assessments

Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:15 PM

Recently I attended a PD which discussed the importance of formative assessments within the classroom. What are some different types of formative assessments you guys use on a regular basis? Currently I implement Kahoot, poll everywhere, and the thumbs up / thumbs down method but I would like to begin utilizing other techniques. Thanks in advance for all your responses.

Myesha McCullan
Myesha McCullan
2925 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:42 AM

I'm a big fan of KWLs and exit tickets. Hand them out at the last 5 minutes of class and ask students to tell you something they Know, something they want to know, and something they learned. This will help you see what students learned that day and where there may be misconceptions. You can do it online too. If you've ever used, you can post little quizzes (students can write in, you can do multiple choice or true false, students can even draw their answers) and grade them as the students do them. There's also nothing wrong with conferencing with students and asking them what they feel like they know really well and what still needs work.

Most of what I've learned about formative assessments is that just about anything can be a formative assessment. If it shows you what students have learned, or where they need more help, it is a formative assessment.

Jay Parker
Jay Parker
1375 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:57 PM

I also like graphic organizers. They can work well at any stage of a lesson plan. I found an article about taking a spin on the KWL chart. It's the THC strategy. They changed the KWL chart to fit into the science classroom. The first column is What Do You Think? the second column is How Can We Find Out? and the third column is What Do We Conclude? It really brings the questioning aspect of science to the surface. I also like how it doesn't put students on the spot by making it okay to be wrong. I think the THC strategy is worth a try in the classroom. Here is th elink to the PDF:

Also using technology is great. It is a sure way to get your students attention. This website has information on 5 formative assessment tools. These are just a few to get started, but there are more out there.

Kyrston Hickson
Kyrston Hickson
1290 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:24 PM

Thanks, Kyrston, for these fantastic resources.

I was sad to see that Zaption is no longer going to be available in a couple months. But I stumbled upon Edpuzzle, which seems promising for people who want to use "flipped classrooms" or assign videos online. It allows teachers to customize youtube videos, insert questions, record audio, and assess student learning. It appears to be free.

here's a review

And here's the website

If anyone has experience with this site, please let us know if you have found it useful.

Susan Duderstadt
Susan Duderstadt
2055 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:22 PM

I really like to return to the basic no technology whiteboards. Each student has a whiteboard, marker, and eraser. As they write their thoughts, answers, etc. I call out 3,2,1 lift your boards. This proves to be a safe way for each student to participate since I'm the only one who can read the whiteboard. It also allows me to assess where we stand as a class on the concept at hand.

Rosemary Henderson
R Henderson
1380 Activity Points

Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:44 PM

This is a great presentation that I use to find formative assessments! It is broken down by student work, self-reporting strategies, technology, post-assessment, teacher observations, and self assessments. Hope it helps!

Jennifer Celia
Jen Celia
840 Activity Points

Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:51 PM

This is great, as is Kahoot! Something similar that I often use in my lessons is Nearpod and Plickers. Nearpod is a great alternate way of presenting a lesson while keeping the students engaged throughout and giving as many formative assessments in many ways as you would like! Plickers is a fun way for students to answer questions - I look at them as the new whiteboards. Either way, students love the integration of technology into lessons and it is easier for you in the end as well!

Katelynn Kraner
Katelynn Kraner
715 Activity Points

Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:51 PM

I love quick online quizzes through Edmodo and/or websites like Quia. They are quick to do and are self-grading. This provides me instant, usable feedback.

Steve Kirsche
Stephen Kirsche
8985 Activity Points

Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:03 AM

It's a well known term "formative assessment" among the teachers now as the importance of the same is getting accepted within the teaching world. The main idea behind the practice sessions of different formative assessments is to understand and identify which students need more care from the rest of the group. Once such students are being identified, it helps the teachers to move accordingly to give more exposure to those students by coming up with a mastered lesson plans and other instructions to help them understand the class better. It's a proven tactic and result oriented too. I have tried to list out some of the best formative assessment techniques to be used within the class for you and hence covered various online sources. 

I hope this given source with some effective formative assessment ideas with detailed explanation could bring some help for you:

I have my own experiences dealing with students and planning class sessions to match the overall studying level of the kids and provide something effective for them. Currently I do work for a resume writing help service, where I could manage to help job candidates with various types of queries and giving solution to sort out them all. The process is same here as well; to help by understanding the issues as much as we can. I wish all the very best with your efforts and I'm sure you are going to be implemented this with influential results.

James Kyne

James Kyne
James Kyne
10 Activity Points

Wed Jun 29, 2016 2:49 PM

James, I really like the questioning strategy. It fosters the constructivist approach in the classroom. Students are apt to discover information as they probe their own ideas, constructing their own concepts. Teachers can continue to use questions strategically to guide students in the right direction without giving away solutions or answers.

Best regards,

S. Mullings

Stacy Mullings
Stacy Mullings
1410 Activity Points

Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:26 PM

Another great resource are the Page Keeley books.  Her 75 Practical Strategies for Science Formative Assessment and Uncovering Student Ideas in Science series are awesome. 

Laura Chambless
Laura Chambless
1815 Activity Points

Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:01 AM

I've seen great success with online games such as kahoot. In one of my field experience assignments the teacher used the program and her students were all very enthusiastic to answer questions because it is structured as a game with a reward system. So I'd certainly recommend it.

Christopher Rodriguez
Christopher Rodriguez
2320 Activity Points

Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:46 PM

I would recommend checking out this book! I read it for one of my graduate classes and it provided great insight into formative assessments!

Henna Ibrahim
Henna Ibrahim
20 Activity Points

Mon May 23, 2016 6:56 AM

A great resource for formative assessment is Dylan Wiliam. I am currently reading his book Embedded Formative Assessment

Kathy Renfrew
Kathleen Renfrew
33360 Activity Points

Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:50 AM

Has anyone out there ever used summative assessments as formative assessments?

For example, I have seen a few teachers--especially at the college level--who have a "redemption point" or "redemption test" system in which students who miss questions on a summative exam (e.g. unit test) are given a chance to make up the points on a targeted repeat exam or on the final. The questions are similar, but not identical, to the ones they missed the first time. There is often a 25% or 50% "redemption tax" so that students can only win back 50-75% of the points they missed. Nonetheless, if students get the redemption questions right, it can improve their test grade substantially. For many students, this may be enough incentive to take another look at the material.

The redemption point system provides the students with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to re-assess their own understanding. Although students will likely have to to re-learn the material on their own, learning independently is a very important skill. Furthermore, the teacher can direct the students towards appropriate resources; online resources, including downloadable or printable ones for those without internet access, are ubiquitous.

I'm mostly seeing this done at the college level:

Has anyone tried this at the high school or middle school level? And if so, how did it go? Did it seem to work? Did students take advantage of it?

Susan Duderstadt
Susan Duderstadt
2055 Activity Points

Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:31 PM

Hi Susan,
At my first school I started to move toward this method of retake test for any students who wanted to improve their grades or pass a test. I was inspired to try it after seeing the results from a study done on Mastery Learning at another school district. Funny thing is at my last school Del Lago Academy the policy was that if a student did not pass a summative assessment we as teachers gave them a "No Mark" which let them know they had not demonstrated understanding of the content or skill yet and we would provide them with multiple opportunities to retest or revise their work. It was a very intense process but ultimately gave me a better understanding of what my students needed in terms of skills and how they best learned. To do this for every for every assessment would be very difficult with out administrative support and developing a school culture. At the more traditional school I worked at I tried it with a few test and it really increased my students motivation to learn. If you try this please share your experience.


Amanda Wolfe
Amanda Wolfe
16200 Activity Points

Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:48 PM

There are countless options for formal assessments. Some of my favorites are:

  • Plickers- an awesome way to ask students questions, have them respond by flipping their card a certain way, you scanning it, and it going straight to the computer to generate a poll. Such an easy way to see what needs to be retaught and what is known.

  • Near pod- this is an awesome way to give students an interactive PowerPoint that includes videos, quizzes, doodles, and polls. I used this for one of my science experiments, where they had to draw what happened and then draw what they thought was going to happen next. At the end, you can include questions to see what they learned. It will be generated in a table for you to see and who got what wrong. This won't be exposed to the children.

  • Wifitti- students can text in the answer anonymously. You can get a general idea if the students are getting it or not.

  • Traffic lights- students will have different color cards on their desk to flip to a color when learning. Red means I don't know. Yellow means I think I know. Green means I know this. This will give a great visual for the teacher to see who is struggling/getting it.

Jaclyn Lawrence
Jaclyn Lawrence
655 Activity Points

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