[ISTE 2016] Formative Assessment—Turning Data into Action

Friday, June 10, 2016 -- Regina Waddell

Looking back on the years that I spent teaching in a large and diverse urban district, I can clearly remember instances in which I taught a whole group lesson to my students and initially felt like the lesson had been a great success. Students were engaged and volunteering correct responses to questions. So, I felt baffled when most of them struggled on the independent assignment. I realized that the problem was not that I wasn't formatively assessing my students during instruction—the problem was that I wasn't doing it effectively. My ineffective formative assessment strategies made me think that my students were understanding a concept when they really weren't. And, when I actually did detect that some of my students might be struggling, I wasn't sure how to use that information to make effective changes to my instruction.

Throughout my time as a teacher, I found strategies and implemented tools that improved the way I formatively assessed my students. I learned to use data to respond to their needs, and since then, I've continued to expand my knowledge of formative assessment because I've seen the impact that it has on learning outcomes.

Each time I learn a new formative assessment strategy, I wish that I can have a redo of one of my years in the classroom to apply the strategy and make my instruction that much more effective. We don't get do-overs, but each school year is an opportunity to do things a little better. This is why I'm so excited to give a presentation focused on formative assessment in the Edmentum booth at ISTE 2016! I can't wait to share strategies that you can use to start the new school year with an even stronger formative assessment implementation.

During the session, we will discuss how improving one specific aspect of formative assessment—your in-lesson questioning—can transform the effectiveness of your instruction.

The session will cover:

  • The most effective types of questions to ask during lessons to distinguish who is understanding the concept and who is not
  • Techniques on how and when to ask questions during the lesson and how to collect data from your students quickly
  • How to interpret and respond to the data that you collect from in-lesson formative assessments to make sure that your students are learning what you are teaching

Please join me during ISTE 2016 at Edmentum’s booth #2316 for my presentation on “Formative Assessment—Turning Data into Action” on Monday, June 27, at 3:30 PM or Wednesday, June 29, at 10:30 AM. I hope to see you in Denver!