Formative Assessment and Differentiation

Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning

About Formative Assessment and Differentiation

Topic:

  • Authentic Assessment
  • Checks for Understanding
  • Designing Student-Centered Assessment
  • Creating a Culture of Feedback
  • Tracking Progress with Data
  • Differentiation with Grouping

Overview:

Data is abundant in 21st-century schools, yet often this data is not used in an authentic way to drive student-centered teaching and learning. Assessment and feedback should be used as a way to direct instructional practices, shape future student learning, communicate with individual students about their progress, differentiate instruction, and ensure students feel ownership over their own learning and growth. All students are unique, and assessment should provide a way to understand how students learn in an effort to develop learning experiences to meet their needs.

What We Believe:

We believe teaching is about capitalizing on a student's strengths while working with the student to fill in gaps. By using assessments to identify and target what students need most in their learning, we can more successfully ensure each student is provided with learning opportunities that support their individual growth.

We believe that student understanding should be assessed in a variety of ways and at an appropriate level for the individual student.

We believe that teachers should give actionable, timely feedback to students on their progress, and that this feedback should empower students to feel a sense of ownership over their own learning and growth.

We believe that teachers should use student assessment data to guide and differentiate instruction. 

Featured Strategies

Microgrouping to Provide Feedback supports students to receive targeted feedback specific to their learning needs
Microgrouping to Provide Feedback supports students to receive targeted feedback specific to their learning needs
Fill in the gaps supports students to review assessment data and set goals for improvement over two days in which they work to fill the gaps
Fill in the gaps supports students to review assessment data and set goals for improvement over two days in which they work to fill the gaps
Self-Assessment Conferences encourages students to reflect individually on how their work meets the goals of learning targets and skills
Self-Assessment Conferences encourages students to reflect individually on how their work meets the goals of learning targets and skills

Outcomes

BetterLesson's coaching and workshops are focused on specific topics.
I can implement authentic assessments in order to motivate students, offer formative feedback, and evaluate student progress as part of the learning process.
I can utilize multiple and varied checks for understanding in order to gather insight into my students' comprehension of content and make adjustments to their instruction.
I can design student-centered assessments in order to create a learning experience in which my students can clearly communicate and demonstrate what they are learning.
I can create a culture of feedback with my students by developing trust in order to drive their academic growth.
I can support my students to track their own progress by having them understand and take ownership of their learning data.
I can differentiate my students' learning experiences by using data to strategically group students.

Additional Reading

BetterLesson Blog Posts:

External Resources: 

How BetterLesson Can Help

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