Formative assessment in the classroom
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Formative assessment in the classroom

I use a range of
formative assessment strategies within my classroom
across all learning areas. I often use the random selection tool to choose students at random
for different learning activities whether it’s in response
to a question or to reflect on learning. I find that this creates
equal opportunities for students and it encourages
active participation from everybody so it’s not always the one kid
that has their hand up all the time. It just means that everybody is always
ready to answer a question when it’s asked or to reflect on something, so I feel like
it just encourages inclusion within the classroom and if a student is unsure of
an answer, they’re able to ask a friend, which also fosters collaboration
within our learning environment. So formative assessment
is embedded across our school. We do a lot of professional
development in formative assessment and it’s implemented across
all grades and all learning areas. So formative assessment is used to gain
information about student understanding and provide teachers with
feedback that informs their practice. So this information
that I get from the students, whether it’s through written feedback or
whether it’s through verbal feedback, I’m able to then take that and use it
to inform my future teaching practices and change lessons
depending on the student feedback for me. So it’s a not
a matter of set lessons anymore, it’s about looking at
where students are at and their engagement, their response
to particular tasks and activities and then redirecting lessons
to better support them in where they are at. So Amaroo has started implementing
formative assessment this year and so through professional development,
we’ve been learning about a range of strategies so I use information by observations
of my students during the class time and I engage in conversations
with my teaching partner and all of these strategies
inform my future planning. In my classroom, particularly
around the area of numeracy, I use a range of
formative assessment strategies. One of these is
my Learning Intentions Wall so it’s displayed in our classroom
and at the beginning of the lesson, my students and I talk about
what the learning intentions are, what we want
to learn is going to be, so it’s a great way for myself
and my students to articulate the learning that is going to
be happening during that lesson and so at the end of the lesson once
we’ve completed all of their learning activities, the students are then able to move their photo
depending on where they think they are sitting according to that learning intention. For example I can add
two numbers together to make 10. If they feel that they are able
to do that independently by themselves, then they move their photo to the green. If they need support from myself but
they are able to do some by themselves, then they move to orange. And if they are still needing support
for the whole thing, then they go on to red. And it’s a really great way for
myself and other teachers and parents to be able to see
where the students feel that they are sitting according
to that learning intention. So a big result of my students learning
using formative assessment strategies is that they are now able to reflect
on their own learning independently and they’re able to ask
for support for me to help them but my students are now
good to use it on a daily basis, they’re very confident and capable of
assessing them themselves, by themselves, and they’re very honest
about it which I think is great. Through the use of the formative assessment
strategies such as my Learning Intentions Wall and also mini whiteboards, I’m able
to give my students immediate feedback so I can alter the lesson
or the task immediately so that it’s actually meaningful and
significant for their abilities and capabilities. Through the use of traffic lights,
so using green amber and red stickers, they’re able to reflect
on their achievement in their work based on the learning
intention or the learning goal. So they put a green sticker on if
they feel like they’ve met the learning intention, an orange one if they feel like they’re still
working on it and they need a little bit of support and a red if they felt like
they need a quite a bit of prompting or they still really need quite a bit of
support to make that in the future. Since implementing a range of
formative assessment strategies, we have seen a huge change in
our students’ outcomes and also their confidence and we find the implementation
of formative assessment really useful in
numeracy and literacy lessons. So I’ve noticed
a significant increase in student outcomes across all learning areas
through the use of formative assessment. I’ve seen greater student engagement and
student participation through these strategies and I feel like students have a greater
understanding of what it is that they’re doing and what it is that
they’re trying to achieve and I feel like they have taken
on a greater sense of ownership and purpose for doing those activities. Kathleen and I work very closely together. We plan together, program together and then often teach lessons together which I find is a really
amazing tool for myself as a professional to be able to work
alongside somebody so closely. Kathleen and I
learn lots from one another. I know that I’ve gained lots of skills
and different learning techniques from her and being able to also give her some of
those opportunities through watching me teach so we use collaborative coaching
as a form of giving each other feedback to improve our lessons and
to then enhance student outcomes. So as collaborative team teaching
is a huge part of Amaroo, I found it really useful
working with my teaching partner because we’ve been able to share our strengths
and put these strengths together and so I have gained some new strategies and some new ideas from
my teaching partner and her strengths and I’m also able
to share my strengths with her so it just improves both
of our teaching practices which will therefore
improve our students’ learning outcomes.

About James Carlton

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