Formative Assessment: Making It Happen in the Classroom


Packed with examples from various subjects and grades, this guide walks readers through every step of the formative assessment process, from articulating learning goals to providing quality feedback.

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Formative Assessment: Making It Happen in the Classroom

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Packed with examples from various subjects and grades, this guide walks readers through every step of the formative assessment process, from articulating learning goals to providing quality feedback.

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Editorial Reviews

Amanda Whitehead
"A group of teachers and I were fortunate enough to work with Margaret Heritage on implementing formative assessment in our middle school. This book is the next best thing to that firsthand experience! Like us, the reader will experience many 'a-ha' moments that can be used immediately with students in the classroom to improve teaching and learning. Heritage clearly defines the process of formative assessment and uses real classroom applications to turn theory into practice. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter make this book an easy resource to implement in collaboration with colleagues, as well as a tool for self-assessment. "
Eric W. Hart
"This book provides a clear explanation of the what, how, and why of formative assessment. The approach is refreshingly common sense and practical, while at the same time grounded in theory and research. Heritage firmly situates formative assessment in the context of rich instruction, reflective practice, and a process for improving student learning. "
Douglas Wheeler
"The most important and unique aspect of this book is the focus on feedback as part of the formative assessment process. It is important that teachers are giving feedback beyond grading, but few books offer suggestions on how to create common understanding of feedback at a building level. This book focuses on a purposeful feedback process that should be present in every aspect of instruction. It provides a template for truly understanding what formative assessment looks, sounds, and feels like. "
Susan Janssen
"Throughout the book, Heritage weaves together the broad picture of formative assessment and the supporting research with a detailed look at various aspects of formative assessment as it plays out in instruction. She not only discusses each aspect in detail, she also provides examples embedded in everyday classroom contexts to help the reader see the connection between the material and the reader's practice. "
Shawn Morgan
"In an era of unrelenting summative assessment, this book provides educators with the knowledge of how to use assessment to help students learn. Formative assessment has changed the culture of my classroom. This book provides a straightforward approach to uncovering what my students know, what they still need to learn, and how to use assessment as a tool for learning instead of a tool for evaluating. "
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412975049
  • Publisher: Corwin Press
  • Publication date: 6/14/2010
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 348,895
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Heritage is Assistant Director for Professional Development at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA, and leads the data use program of the Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center.

Prior to joining CRESST, she had many years of teaching and leadership experience in schools in the United Kingdom and the United States, including a period as a County Inspector of Education in the United Kingdom, and as principal at the UCLA laboratory school. She has also taught graduate classes in Education at the Department of Education at the University of Warwick, England, the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Stanford University.

Her current work focuses on data use for school improvement, learning progressions, formative assessment, and teachers’ use of formative assessment evidence.

Margaret Heritage is the co-author (with Alison Bailey) of Formative Assessment for Literacy, Grades K-6: Building Reading and Academic Language Skills Across the Curriculum, published by Corwin Press.

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Table of Contents

Foreword James W. Stigler ix

Acknowledgments xi

About the Author xiii

About the Contributor xv

1 Introduction 1

Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice 1

Overview of the Chapters 2

Changes in Practice 4

2 Assessment With and for Students 7

The Process of Formative Assessment 10

Determine Learning Goals and Define Criteria for Success 10

Elicit Evidence of Learning 11

Interpreting the Evidence 12

Identifying the Gap 12

Feedback 13

Adapting and Responding to Learning Needs 14

Scaffolding New Learning 14

Close the Gap 14

Classroom Culture 15

Theory Into Practice 15

Formative and Summative Assessment 18

Summing Up 19

Reflection Questions 20

3 It All Depends on What the Data Tell You 21

The Big Assessment Picture 22

Appropriateness for Purpose 23

Making Sense of the Data 24

Different Assessments for Different Purposes 26

Different Grain Sizes 26

Taking Action 28

Where Does Formative Assessment Fit In? 28

Putting It All Together 30

Summing Up 36

Reflection Questions 36

4 The Drivers of Formative Assessment: Learning Goals and Success Criteria 37

Learning Progressions 38

Developing a Learning Progression for Reading 40

Developing a Learning Progression for Mathematics 42

Learning Goals and Success Criteria 44

Identifying Learning Goals and Success Criteria 45

Revising Learning Goals and Success Criteria 51

Communicating Learning Goals and Success Criteria to Students 53

Summing Up 55

Reflection Questions 55

5 Formative Feedback for Teaching 57

Generating the Evidence 57

Quality Feedback for Teaching 58

Revisiting the Teachers 59

Curriculum-Embedded Assessment 70

Technology Tools 71

Helper Practices for Formative Assessment 71

Planning Instruction and Assessment 72

Who Is Assessed and When? 73

Interpreting Evidence 74

The "Just Right Gap" 74

Differentiating Instruction 75

Building a Repertoire 76

Summing Up 78

Reflection Questions 78

6 Formative Feedback for Learning 79

Teacher Feedback 80

Types of Teacher Feedback 81

Timing of Feedback 83

Feedback as Instructional Scaffolding 84

Feedback and Self-Regulation 84

Examples of Teacher Feedback 84

Using the Feedback 90

What About Grades? 90

Student Feedback 91

Peer Feedback 91

Feedback From Self-Assessment 93

Summing Up 97

Reflection Questions 97

7 Implementing Formative Assessment: What Do Teachers Need to Know and Be Able to Do? 99

Creating the Classroom Culture 99

Classroom Management 101

Teacher Knowledge 101

Content Knowledge 103

Knowledge About Metacognition 105

Pedagogical Content Knowledge 105

Students' Previous Learning 107

Assessment Knowledge 108

Teacher Skills 110

Interpreting Evidence 111

Providing Feedback 112

Matching Instruction to the Gap 113

Teaching Peer Assessment 114

Teacher Attitudes 115

Summing Up 116

Reflection Questions 116

8 Developing and Deepening Formative Assessment Practice E. Caroline Wylie Margaret Heritage 117

A Daunting Prospect? 117

A Professional Culture for Change 118

Professional Development to Support Teachers' Use of Formative Assessment 119

Planning for PLCs 120

The Content of the PLCs 123

The Role of School Administrators 127

Summing Up 131

Reflection Questions for Teachers 131

Reflection Questions for Administrators 131

References 133

Index 139

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