What is formative assessment?We use formative assessment to get constructive critiques on our work in the process of creating it. For example, you might take your essay to the Social Studies Lab for comments from a teacher before you make your final edits and submit the paper. Or, you may trade drafts of a project with other students to get their suggestions before moving forward towards the final product. As a teacher, I might use formative assessment by asking you for feedback during a lesson so that I can structure our next class to better suit the needs and interests of the students.
Formative assessment also helps us to focus on a growth mindset and makes us more comfortable with taking academic risks because there is less attachment to a letter grade. As a result, we will become more active, adventurous learners with more analytical and sophisticated final products.
- When and how have you and your teachers used formative assessment in your Social Studies classes before?
Check out some of these links that further discuss the benefits of formative assessment in the classroom!
- Formative v. Summative Asssessment
- Formative Assessment: An Enabler of Learning (Johns Hopkins University)
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery
Blogging and Formative Assessment
This year, it is my goal to use blogs and commenting as a formative assessment tool for our class. Throughout the year, we will respond to thought-provoking questions, complete creative assignments, and use art and other multimedia to enhance the historical or political content we discuss. Throughout these activities, we will use this blog and the commenting features to view and constructively critique the work of our classmates with the ultimate goal of challenging our thinking and improving our final products.
A fun and open learning environment online...These blogs will be an extension of our classroom and will be a place where we encourage academic risks and foster learning. When we engage in formative assessment and comment on the work our classmates do, it is important to be deliberate in how and what we right. The purpose of these activities is to improve, so of course we will expect comments that identify errors. question ideas, and challenge our thinking. However, these comments will be most effective when they are presented with language that encourages growth rather than insults or diminishes the work of our peers.
- Give an example of using constructive language when criticizing/complimenting your peers' work!