Click on a link below to learn about the assessment tools we use the measure progress.
A formative assessment is an assessment for learning used to advance and not merely monitor each student’s learning. The assessment informs the individual student of his or her progress in becoming proficient. It also informs the teacher regarding the effectiveness of instruction, student needs, and where to go next in the instructional process.
Below are a list of frequently asked questions about formative assessments. Questions and answers taken directly from Frequently Asked Questions About PLCs At Work.
MAPS Formative Assessment Purpose Statement
Our MAPS PLC is committed to high levels of learning for every student and we are focused on each student’s proficiency on every essential standard. Our formative assessment work allows us to monitor student learning in order to provide appropriate interventions and extension opportunities, it informs instruction in order to advance each student’s learning, and it contributes to our guaranteed and viable curriculum.
What determines if an assessment is formative or summative?
What happens after the test determines whether teachers are using it in a formative or summative way. If the assessment ensures students experiencing difficulty receive additional time and support and additional opportunities to demonstrate their learning, the assessment is formative. If additional support is not forthcoming and teachers use the test merely to assign grades, it is summative.
Do all teacher team’s assessments need to be common assessments?
No. Individual teachers can use a variety of strategies to check for student understanding almost minute by minute while teaching a unit. They can also administer their own quizzes or assignments during the unit to make decisions about where to go next in the unit. At least once each unit, however, the team should administer a common formative assessment that the team members themselves created.
How many learning targets should we assess on a common assessment?
There is no magic number in terms of how many standards or targets teams should consider on a single assessment. Using a common assessment to address a single learning target is legitimate and even desirable. More frequent common assessments over fewer learning targets are more likely to generate the most focused evidence of student learning.
Does a common assessment only assess essential standards, or can it also assess other required curriculum?
The purpose of a common assessment is to provide teachers with useful information about a student’s current level of mastery of those standards the team has identified as essential. That should always be the priority. If the team has the time to assess other curriculum as well, leaders should not prevent it from doing so. While teachers will likely teach more than they test, common assessments should reflect what team members have agreed matters most.