The phrases formative assessment or formative data are not new to teachers and principals. But what do they really mean? How are they supposed to impact student and teacher learning? How do they strengthen the work of collaborative teams? Read more
Defining Formative and Summative
Whenever I do an assessment workshop with a group of teachers, I always start with some definitions so that we’re all talking about the same thing. Almost every teacher I’ve worked with is pretty confident about what the difference is between a formative and a summative assessment. Read more
You know that feeling you get when you rush, rush, rush to get to a conference after a long day of travel, compounded by months of trying to cram teaching, family, and personal care into an already too-fast-paced life? Perhaps you check into your hotel and unzip the suitcase you packed at home, wondering if you even packed the right clothing. You might ask yourself when you should get breakfast, who you will sit with, and how you will ever manage to relax and learn. You might begin to wonder if attending was more effort than it will be worth. Read more
This is the tenth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.
If you have incorporated the ideas from my past blog posts into your instructional practices and still find your students’ discussions lack substance, it may be due to the feedback they are receiving. After years of research, Hattie (2008) revealed that feedback was among the most powerful influences on achievement and states that students have a greater chance of achieving learning targets when teachers provide ongoing feedback about their progress. Read more
This is the ninth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.
Often, teachers wonder how they should grade students to hold them accountable during discussions. A conversation with one teacher illustrates the questions many teachers ask. She said, “I want to include more student-led discussions in my classroom, but I don’t know how I would grade their work to hold them accountable. They won’t speak up if they think they aren’t receiving points. How might I grade individual students for their work during discussions? What criteria should I use to grade them as they engage in discussions?” Read more