The Best Laid Plans…

Standard

For me, formative assessment is not just one of the latest buzz words I use to sound like I know what I’m doing. It’s what I actually use to “know” what I’m doing. Without feedback from my students I feel like I’m walking in the dark, alone. 
So I formatively assessment more often than our required Friday CFAs, common formative assessments. 

In addition to the ticket out the door, observation rubrics, FALs and FAs of that sort (which never, ever count for a grade and still my students do them without griping or apathy…but I digress) I use weekly concept quizzes to capture student understanding of the concept of focus for the week. These are entered into the gradebook. 

Here lately, I’ve been using Google Forms to create my quizzes which provide a wonderful spreadsheet to which I can add conditional formatting that gives me this look to easily identify students’ levels of understanding. 

Therefore, as I go through a unit, I have a pretty good idea of who will show mastery on the common assessment (our unit test) and who will need more time before reaching mastery. This year, the FAs and CQs have been accurate. That was until this Unit 6 assessment. Although all signs pointed to majority of the students showing mastery, this data proved differently. 

Yikes!!  My knee jerk reaction was to have students complete test corrections, discuss common misunderstandings as a class, get student feedback on the test and reassess. The retest results further proved the lack of sense making of written scenarios and the confusion between rate of change and initial value on a graph. 

Does this prove that formative assessments aren’t useful and don’t help prepare students for success? Not at all. Is this an opportunity to reflect, adjust and grow as an educator to help my students be successful? Hell yes (sorry mom). This is clearly an instructors error as proven by the data from both the FAs and the CA. As we build more understanding by looking at this concept through a different lens, I’ll post about our accomplishments. 

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3 thoughts on “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. Pam White

    You always share such useful information. We are now using the google sheets with the conditional formatting option and I love it. The Function carnival is amazing too.

  2. Katherine Peterson

    I love your formative assessment binder! I was curious what kind of structures you have to build time into class for checking in on each kid about what they’re struggling with. I feel like I’m not great at following up on formative data that I collect about my kids.

  3. Katherine, I apologize for the delay in my response. Often times it is addressed them the activities I make available to them the next day. Sometimes it may be tiered tasks where everyone is focusing on the same concept but the difficulty of the activity varies. Other times I pull small groups of students and address the problem areas. I’ve even tried assigning homework to address those areas. This technique is not always successful as not all students will complete their homework :-(.

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