What is a Formative Assessment Plan and How Can We Apply It To Target Our Instruction?

With a formative assessment system in place we are ensuring a way to take action on our student's performance, thus encouraging a deeper level of learning.

For the last couple of years now I've struggled with how to get my students to become deeper thinkers and to stop relying on me to do the thinking for them. I was doing all the strategies I'd learned along the way. I was providing guided instruction, modeling and offering feedback. But I was missing something.

And then I chose to study using a formative assessment plans to target instructional/learning goals for my PDP. In Frey and Fischer's The Formative Assessment Action Plan they note John Hattie and Helen Timperley's  article The Power of Feedback from 2007 and their proposal of a formative assessment system. This system includes three components:

  1. Feed-up: Where am I going?
  2. Feedback: How am I doing? 
  3. Feed-forward: Where am I going next?
I found the missing  piece! I wasn't feeding forward. I wasn't following through with that gradual release of responsibility.  My instruction planning is now and forever changed! 

In The Formative Assessment Action Plan Fischer and Frey offer their implementation of the gradual release of responsibility framework that looks like this:

1) Establishing Purpose
2) Teacher Modeling
3) Guided Instruction
4) Productive Group Work
5) Independent Tasks

As I post Peek at My Week check out as I follow this format and I will check in with progress posts as well. 


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