What Is Formative Assessment?
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What Is Formative Assessment?


– So I know that there’s a lot
of confusion about testing, the different kinds of testing. But especially about formative assessment. (driving music) I came here to Ross
Elementary in Washington D.C. to talk with Meghan Pazmino
who’s a math coach here. And I think Meghan can help
clear up some of this confusion. Hi, Megan. – Hi Catherine. – So, Meghan what is the
different between these three kinds of tests
we hear so much about, interim testing, summative
testing, formative testing. – The three types are all different but also can be exactly the same. Interim is the check point, usually halfway there, three
quarters of the way there. Summative assessments can
tell us at the end of a unit or a topic how students have
learned throughout that unit. And then the formative will
tell almost on a daily basis how students are progressing either on individual
skills or towards mastery of the overall topic. One thing is the name formative. My trick as even years into
teaching I could never remember is formative forms instruction. – [Catherine] Ahh. – And that was always
my way of remembering which one was which. – I wonder if some confusion comes up because it’s called formative assessment. People think about assessment
is you have to sit down and you get nervous and maybe
you’re gonna get a grade. – The word assessment brings back a very traditional idea of pencil and paper test. But, an assessment is
anything that we can use to see how kids are doing. If you walked into a classroom, you might see students
playing a game on the computer or on the SMART Board, and they’re answering questions that they don’t realize are
monitoring their progress. – So, it’s an assessment of teaching? – Exactly. It’s mostly for the teacher to monitor how the teacher is doing. – Well, thank you Meghan. I think this conversation’s
been so helpful in clearing up some misunderstandings about what formative assessment is, how it’s done, and how it differs from
the other kinds of testing. Thank you so much. – You’re welcome.

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