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Acing Your Formative Assessment Strategy with Study Island in 3 Easy Steps

Acing Your Formative Assessment Strategy with Study Island in 3 Easy Steps

In the midst of some uncertain and disruptive years of instruction, returning to the basics with tried-and-true practices is a safe approach. Consider how a solid, research-based formative assessment strategy can be at the center of that work. By definition, formative assessment involves keeping a pulse on what your students know while they’re still in the process of learning it and using those insights to shape future instruction.

Setting a solid formative assessment strategy long before testing season hits will not only make your life easier by understanding who may need a little extra assistance but also take some of the stress off your students. With Study Island, you can rest easy knowing that you have a trusted formative assessment tool at your fingertips.

However, we know that having a tool and using it effectively are two different things. Read on for our three easy steps for a successful formative assessment strategy with Study Island.

Acing Your Formative Assessment Strategy with Study Island in 3 Easy Steps

Step One: Assess Knowledge with a Practice Assignment

After you’ve taught the core instruction of a specific topic or standard to your class, it’s time to dive into the first step of this three-step approach: assess what students know. While there are a few different ways to formatively assess students within the program, today, we’re going to be focusing on practice assignments because of their seamless interaction with Sensei, Study Island’s personal interactive data dashboardbut more to come on that in step two!

Building a practice assignment within Study Island allows you to assess on either the topic you’re covering or a single academic standard that you may be focusing on that week. Because the practice content in Study Island is already built to your state standards, you can feel confident that students are being assessed on their knowledge accurately and effectively. Additionally, practice assignments make the process quick and easy with a fixed and randomized (to cut down on any cheating) 10-question session.

Recently, we hosted the webinar, 3 Steps to a Tried-and-True Formative Assessment Strategy with Study Island, with Wendy Teffeteller, an Edmentum education consultant, to dive a little deeper into the how-to of this three-step process. Check out a clip of it below to see how easy it is to create a practice assignment for your formative assessment strategy.

Step Two: Measure and Review Success with Sensei

Now that you’ve assessed your students, it’s time to see who is meeting grade-level expectations and who needs additional support. Remember that interactive data dashboard, Sensei, mentioned earlier? Here’s where this feature in the program gets to shine!

Because practice assignments directly feed all their data into Sensei, measuring and reviewing your students’ results for the topic or academic standard they’re being assessed on is a breeze. With its color-coded graphics, visual cues, and intuitive charts, educators get an in-depth look at how their students performed, which is easy to interpret and simple to turn into a plan of action. It also works as a live view, meaning that you can see student scores as they come in, saving you precious time. By reviewing the trusted data within Sensei, educators can determine which students are ready to move on and which need more practice and then assign more practice right from dashboard to the students who need it.

Still not sold on the power of Sensei? In the clip below, Wendy goes into more detail breaking down how this feature makes managing your classroom data easier than ever.

Step Three: Reassess with a Group Session or Built Test

In the final step of our tried-and-true formative assessment strategy, it’s time to reassess your students’ understanding. After reteaching the topic or academic standard to the students who needed it—which could be in small groups, through extra practice in Study Island, or even a whole-class review—teachers can create a Group Session or a Built Test to easily reassess which students are mastering the topic or standard. Reassessing after reteaching is a critical step, as it gives educators the confidence that their students are prepared to ace their graded assessments, whether it’s a smaller end-of-unit exam or the championship of exams: state testing.

Using Group Sessions and Built Tests within Study Island to reassess your students allows teachers to relax with the knowledge that each of the questions used is built to state standards and can be put together quickly—keeping things accurate AND efficient. Not sure how to decide which feature to use to complete that final checkpoint with your students? In the following clip, Wendy highlights when the best time is to use both flexible options and how to create them—both ahead of time and on the fly.

Though having a solid formative assessment strategy is important year-round, it’s especially important to keep in mind as we inch closer to high-stakes testing. Study Island is here to act as your trusted sidekick when it comes to formative assessment, giving you the ability to pinpoint specific gaps and misconceptions in your students’ learning as you prepare for state testing. Even better, it works seamlessly in three simple steps, keeping you from feeling the need to revamp your whole classroom routine this coming spring. For full details, watch our step-by-step webinar in its entirety here.

New to Study Island? Check out how it can be used to boost standards mastery and proficiency, and then sign up for a free trial today!

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Brittany Becker

Brittany Becker currently serves as a Marketing Specialist at Edmentum, and has been with the company since 2016. Before her time at Edmentum, Brittany studied both Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and eventually went on to teach 4th grade in Title 1 schools. Because of her background in education, Brittany is passionate about providing educators across the United States and the world with the tools and best practices to empower their students each day in the classroom.