PDI-6: Improving Student Learning through Formative Assessment
Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Location: Marriott San Francisco Marquis Hotel, Room Yerba Buena 6
Intended Audience: Grades 3–8
Recommended Pathway Sessions
Brian Campbell, Notebook, and Assessment Specialist, Lawrence Hall of Science
Linda De Lucchi, FOSS Co-Director, Lawrence Hall of Science
Kathy Long, FOSS Assessment Coordinator, Lawrence Hall of Science
Larry Malone, FOSS Co-Director, Lawrence Hall of Science
Terry Shaw, Middle School PD Coordinator, Lawrence Hall of Science
Cathy Kennedy, Assessment and Psychometrics Consultant, San Mateo, CA
- What is formative assessment and how can it improve teaching and learning?
- What are guiding principles for effective formative assessment?
- How do you use or develop classroom assessments that are informative and usable?
- How do you analyze student work to learn about student progress, inform instruction, and take next steps to clarify thinking?
- How do you change the culture of the classroom to value self-reflection and incremental progress toward understanding of complex concepts?
This PDI focuses on the design and use of formative assessment in science classrooms (grades 3–8). The assessment triangle from the NRC report Knowing What Students Know (Cognition–Observation–Interpretation) provides the framework. We will examine tools and strategies that constitute a formative assessment system, model the use of assessment materials in simulated learning/assessment situations, and analyze student work. We will emphasize the critical importance of item quality, student action/responsibility in the assessment cycle, and use of formative assessment to take immediate as well as long term action to improve student learning. We will break into small groups to look at specific science topics and the steps required to implement formative assessment. There will be time to practice developing (1) "construct maps" (documents that help teachers focus on the big ideas taught in a unit), (2) look at instructional flow and determine when formative assessment should occur, and (3) examine protocols for looking at student work that support teachers as they develop formative assessment practices over time.
This PDI is designed to meet the needs of science educators grades 3–8, including lead teachers, science coordinators, professional developers, and administrators. Participants will experience formative assessments (grades 3–5 and 6–8), understand the pieces required in developing a system of formative assessment, and how to apply these principles to an aspect of teaching or professional development.