Classroom Assessment – Broken down into a simple Q&A

kids working

Q: What does it mean to assess?  

A: Assessing is simply taking a measurement of progress, knowledge, or mastery.

Q: How do formative and summative assessments differ?

A: Formative assessments are used periodically throughout the instructional/learning process to determin progress.  Summative assessments are given at the end of a unit of instruction to show mastery.

Q: Why might a pre-assessment be used?  

A: Pre-assessments are great tools to take a quick read on where the students are prior to learning.  They can show the teacher which areas need more focus.

Q: What are some good assessment methods?  

A: Prea-ssessments could be given using a traditional quiz, KWL charts, quick writes, or just an informal classroom discussion.

Formative assessments can be given using a variety of methods and resources, as well.  See this article to find my five favorite methods. (You will notice that a multiple-choice quiz is nowhere near that list.)

Summative assessments can be in the form of a final project to demonstrate mastery (i.e. piece of writing, artwork, musical composition, multimedia presentation, live demonstration).

Q: What does the teacher do with the data collected?

A:  Ideally, the teacher uses the data to guide his/her own teaching.  Are the students ready to move on?  Is there an area that needs to be retaught using a different method/resource?  Are there trends rising to the top?  Are there students who need some one-on-one help?

Q: What does the student do with the data collected?  

A: Ideally, the students uses the data to guide his/her own learning.  If assessments are valid tools, and teachers give valuable feedback (in a timely manner), then they can be utilized to shape the students’ knowledge and skills acquisition.

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About reflectinginspiration

I am an educator excited by the possibilities available. I am a teacher, administrator, consultant, trainer, copy editor, and more. I write about my own experiences as an educator and learner.
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