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 Formative assessment
Formative assessment occurs DURING learning
What this looks like in mathematics and statistics
Formative assessment enables a teacher to:
 provide students with feedback to improve and enhance learning
 understand student learning
 build a picture of student progress
 inform planning decisions, may involve further diagnosis
 adapt teaching to meet student learning needs.
Questions teachers and students should be asking:
 What are we trying to do?
 How well have we done it?
 How do we know?
 What do we do when we don’t know what to do?
Specific activities
 Students posing and answering questions.
 Students evaluating questions in a textbook exercise to decide which ones they should work on.
 Asking 'What is the same and what is different?', for example, for linear or quadratic functions.
 Asking students to 'find another example . . . and another', for example, a function has xintercepts 3 and 5.
 Giving an A5 piece of scrap paper for students to record their thinking about what they learned, need to know, would like help with.
 Exit slips: Exit slips are a quick assessment tool for teachers to use as part of their daily classroom routine.
 The teacher poses a question for the students to respond to. The question must be short and shouldn’t take students long to complete.
 Students complete on a slip of paper or card.
 As the students leave the classroom they hand in their exit slip.
 The classroom teacher now has a quick assessment tool. By assessing the responses on the exit slips the teacher can better differentiate the instruction in order to accommodate students' needs for next lesson.
 Examples of exit slip questions:
 write one thing you learned today
 write one question you have about today's lesson
 of the 3 graphs we studied today, which one did you find most useful? Why?
 Using cooperative activities, for example, Get it Together, EQUALS.
 Using counterexamples to disprove conjectures, for example, every quadratic graph cuts the xaxis twice.
 Giving the answer and asking what is the question, for example, a quadratic equation has solutions ½ and 3, what is the equation?
 Selfassessment
 Peerassessment
 Homework
 Lesson diagnostic snapshot, for example, ask the students questions such as: 'Find fractions between these pairs of fractions; and , and..'.
 Use of miniwhiteboards for students to show their answer to a question.
 Quiz at beginning of a lesson.
 Student generated test or practice examples.
Further information

Erickson, T. (1989). Get it Together: Maths Problems for Groups.
A resource for problem solving in groups where each member has a clue but cannot show it to the rest of the group.
 William, D. (2007). Ahead of the Curve: The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching and Learning. Content then process: Teacher learning communities in the service of formative assessment.
Last updated September 17, 2018