Welcome back for Chapter 8 of The Primary Gal's Guided Math Book Study!
As the title suggests, this chapter focuses on assessment. As we all know, there are two forms of assessment: formative and summative. Summative assessments are usually used at the end of a chapter, unit, grading period, etc. and are often used to determine mastery. Formative assessments are used frequently throughout a unit to give the teacher an idea of student understanding and help to determine where to go next with the lesson.
A critical part of assessment is the feedback teachers provide students.
Sammons references Ann Davies and says "descriptive feedback:
*comes during and after the learning
*is easily understood
*is related directly to the learning
*is specific, so performance can improve
*involves choice on the part of the learner as to the type of feedback and how to receive it
*is part of an ongoing conversation about learning
*is in comparison to models, exemplars, samples, or descriptions
*is about the performance or the work - not the person"
I just attended a workshop yesterday on Professional Learning Communities, and the importance of specific, meaningful, timely feedback was emphasized there, as well. Formative assessment, or assessment FOR learning, can be so powerful for both students and teachers if used correctly and is a defining characteristic of Guided Math. This includes teachers providing feedback and using the assessment data to guide instruction.
Formative assessments can be as simple as students holding up the number of fingers that represent their understanding of a concept (5 - I get stand can teach it to someone else, 1 - This is totally new to me). Exit slips are also a great tool for formative assessments, as are using dry erase boards for students to hold up their answers to a problem or question, using Activotes or some other type of clicker/device to quickly gauge the understanding in the room, etc.
I will definitely be using more formative assessments with my kids this year!
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