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Everything You Need to Know to Effectively Integrate Formative Assessment in Your Instruction

November 13, 2016
Formative assessment is an evaluative approach that allows teachers to take quick snapshots of students learning in class. It’s an ongoing process that can happen anytime during a lesson regardless of content area. Unlike summative assessment whose goal is to assess students overall learning outcomes at the end of an instructional unit, formative assessment aims at identifying students learning gaps and design remedial work to move learning forward. The information collected from formative assessment is usually translated into operational steps to inform instructional models and lesson planning. After we have reviewed a number of web tools and iPad apps teachers can use to formatively assess students learning, today’s post features a collection of some useful books to help you learn everything you need to know to effectively integrate formative assessment in your instruction. Have a look and share with us your feedback. Enjoy

8 Great Books on Formative Assessment Teachers Should Read

1- The Formative Assessment Action Plan: Practical Steps to More Successful Teaching and Learning (Professional Development), by Douglas Fisher (Author), Nancy Frey  (Author)
‘Join Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher as they outline a clear-cut, realistic, and rewarding approach to formative assessment. They explain how four discrete steps work in tandem to create a seamless, comprehensive formative assessment system one that has no beginning and no end. This ongoing approach enhances an active give-and-take relationship between teachers and students to promote learning.’

2- 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom: Easy, Low-Prep Assessments That Help You Pinpoint Students' Needs and Reach All Learners, by Judith Dodge (Author)
‘This collection of quick, flexible, informal assessments helps teachers take a snapshot of student learning—at any time during a lesson or unit of study, in any curriculum area. Students' responses give teachers a clear picture of what students know and what they need help with, what material to reteach or extend, and how to pace instruction. Designed to engage a range of learning styles and skills, the assessments come with an easy step-by-step plan, grade-level modifications, tiering tips, and student samples! For use with Grades 3-8.’

3-Embedding Formative Assessment: Practical Techniques for K-12 Classrooms, by Siobhan Leahy Dylan Wiliam (Author)
‘Effective classroom formative assessment helps educators make minute-by-minute, day-by-day instructional decisions. This clear, practical guide for teachers centers on five key instructional strategies, along with an overview of each strategy and practical formative assessment techniques for implementing it in K-12 classrooms.’

4- Formative Assessment: Making It Happen in the Classroom, by H. Margaret Heritage  (Editor)
‘Formative assessment allows teachers to identify and close gaps in student understanding and move learning forward. This research-based book walks readers through every step of the process and offers illustrative examples across a range of subject areas and grade levels. This book explains how to: Clearly articulate learning progressions, learning goals, and success criteria; Select strategies for assessment and provide quality feedback; engage students in self-assessment and self-management; create a classroom environment that values feedback as part of the learning process.’

5- Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading: The Classroom Strategies Series (Designing an Effective System of Assessment and Grading to Enhance ... Learning) (Classroom Strategies That Work), by Robert J. Marzano (Author)
‘This book details the specific benefits of formative assessment. The author explains how to design and interpret three different types of formative assessments, how to track student progress, and how to assign meaningful grades, even if a school or district continues to use a traditional grading system.’

6- What Teachers Really Need to Know About Formative Assessment, by Laura Greenstein  (Author)
'In this volume, author Laura Greenstein has gathered what you really need to know in order to make formative assessment a seamless part of your everyday practice. Emphasizing formative assessment application in secondary schools but applicable to teachers of all grade levels and all subject areas, this book provides: Straightforward answers to teachers most frequently asked questions; dozens of strategies for measuring student understanding and diagnosing learning needs before, during, and after instruction; illustrations of formative assessment across the content areas, from math to language arts to science to social studies to health and physical education; guidance on making data-informed instructional adjustments…etc’.'

7- How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading, by Susan M. Brookhart  (Author)
‘ In this comprehensive guide, author Susan M. Brookhart identifies two essential components of effective rubrics: (1) criteria that relate to the learning (not the tasks ) that students are being asked to demonstrate and (2) clear descriptions of performance across a continuum of quality. She outlines the difference between various kinds of rubrics (for example, general versus task-specific, and analytic versus holistic), explains when using each type of rubric is appropriate, and highlights examples from all grade levels and assorted content areas.’

8- How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students, by Susan M. Brookhart  (Author)
‘Here at last is a guide that helps you always know how to give the right feedback for all kinds of assignments, in every grade level and subject area. Susan M. Brookhart covers every possible aspect of the topic, from what kinds of feedback work best, to when and how often to give feedback, to how to use oral, written, and visual feedback. Lots of examples of good feedback help you choose the right feedback strategy and help you tailor your feedback to different kinds of learners, including successful students, struggling students, and English language learners.’