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Formative assessment is a process -- a set of practices integrated into the teaching and learning experience. Also called “assessment for learning,” the goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by educators to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning. Both educators and students share the responsibility of facilitating the formative assessment process. Formative assessment is intentional and requires purposeful planning by educators to clarify learning goals and success criteria, elicit evidence of students’ thinking, provide students with descriptive feedback, and adjust instruction accordingly. Students must have a clear vision of success so they can monitor their own progress, and be given choice to become agents of their own learning.
As part of their balanced approach to assessment, educators throughout the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have refined a formative assessment process and developed instructional supports for students. Each dimension of the formative assessment is elaborated below. (Click the picture on the right for a short video on Understanding the Formative Assessment Process).
What does this mean?
Tools for Teachers is the new formative assessment component of the Smarter Balanced assessment system. It is an online collection of resources aligned with the Common Core State Standards that supports K–12 teachers in their use of the formative assessment process to adjust teaching to improve student learning. Tools for Teachers features:
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