How Formative Assessments Help Teachers Make Informed Instructional Decisions

As a classroom teacher, we make many decisions in a day. Formative assessments help guide our decisions in what to teach and prioritize with our students. They are assessments we make in the learning process, not just a pretest. In this post, I share a few ways I use them.

As a classroom teacher, we make many decisions in a day. Formative assessments help guide our decisions in what to teach and prioritize with our students. They are assessments we make in the learning process, not just a pretest.

Formative assessments can come in many forms. You can use exit tickets, quick writes, graphic organizers, and many others. The most important point is that you use the data you gather from your assessments to plan next steps.

In my classroom, I use both formative and summative assessments as tools to measure my student’s level of understanding.

What do I absolutely love about formative assessments?

There are an endless amount of ways we can use them in our classroom. I think of formative assessments as “snapshots” of our student’s comprehension at any given moment. I’ve created a quick formative assessment tool I call “Write About It.” I use this across multiple curricula with students at varying ages and abilities. I typically use it at the end of a lesson as an exit ticket. Students complete this on their own or with a partner and use vocabulary terms to summarize the topic at hand.

Links to Assessments in my shop:

Recently, I used this in my Earth and Space Science classroom after introducing the greenhouse effect. How would you use this formative assessment in your classroom?

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