Formative Assessments: Differentiating in the Classroom

For this week, I read from Scholastic an excerpt from the article by Judith Dodge- “25 Quick Formative Assessments for Differentiated Classroom”. This article on scholastic was titled “What Are Formative Assessments and Why Should We Use Them? I really liked the simplicity and organization of this excerpt- as it focuses specifically on defining formative assessments, ways it benefited students, and overall what to take away from using formative assessments. I like the distinction Dodge made from summative assessments- which are traditionally assessments given to students to determine how much learning has taken place- and formative assessments which not only differentiate instruction and improve student achievement- but also serve as a practice for students and serve as an ‘assessment for learning’ as Dodge constructs so simply.

Formative Assessments truly don’t take a lot of time- and can be used in place of homework- or as extra practice. Different ways of assessments Dodge points out includes in the form of; summaries and reflections, lists, charts, graphic organizer, visual representation of information, and even collaborative activities.  Dodge is also quick to note that when it comes to FA (formative assessments) it important to keep track and take action of the data as it determines the student’s learning level and ways to adapt to that particular student’s learning style or ability.

Dodge also reference Thomas R. Guskey, and says Guskey  “….suggests that for assessments to become an integral part of the instructional process, teachers need to change their approach in three important ways. They must “1) use assessments as sources of information for both students and teachers, 2) follow assessments with high-quality corrective instruction, and 3) give students second chances to demonstrate success” (2007).” I agree with Dodge and Guskey in this article- as I believe formative assesments are truly more beneficial to the student. As we have seen in class- formative assesments- even online educational games- serves as extra practice- and helps overall growth in the students ability to grow in their knowledge.



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