Formative assessment is a term that those of us in education have been learning about and talking about for some time. At our recent school council meeting we came to realize that though teachers know the importance of formative assessment educators haven't necessarily done a good enough job of explaining to our parent community what it is or how it is used to improve student learning possibilities. Formative assessment is was subject of our school improvement efforts towards the end of the year last year, and it will be a big part of our school development plan this year. In today's post I hope to give parents an understanding of the difference between summative and formative assessment, and how we are using them to support our learners at Belfast.
The difference between summative and formative assessment can be summed up with the garden analogy above. Teachers use formative assessment in their classrooms every day. Formative assessment includes:
Summative assessment or evaluation is the process of measuring student learning throughout the year. The purpose of summative assessment is to see what students know, understand and can do in relation to educational goals or provincial standards. During summative assessment, teachers make judgments about the quality and depth of student learning compared to curriculum outcomes.
Over the course of the year I hope to provide information that helps parents to understand our evolving formative assessment practices. I will elaborate on different aspects of formative assessment in future posts and invite parents to join us on October 19th for the first in our Coffee Talk series! During this informal time together we will talk about what formative assessment looks like in some of our classrooms and answer questions parents have as well.
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Thanks for reading!