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# 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 x-intercepts 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 counter-examples to disprove conjectures, for example, every quadratic graph cuts the x-axis twice.
- Giving the answer and asking what is the question, for example, a quadratic equation has solutions ½ and 3, what is the equation?
- Self-assessment
- Peer-assessment
- Homework
- Lesson diagnostic snapshot, for example, ask the students questions such as: 'Find fractions between these pairs of fractions; and , and..'.
- Use of mini-whiteboards for students to show their answer to a question.
- Quiz at beginning of a lesson.
- Student generated test or practice examples.

### Further information

- EQUALS. (1989).
*Get it together.*Berkely, California: Lawrence Hall of Science.

- Wiliam, D. (2007.) Content then process: Teacher learning communities in the service of formative assessment in
*Ahead of the Curve:**The Power of Assessment to Transform Teaching and Learning.*Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Last updated August 27, 2012