Most of the formative assessments I give are standards-based assessments. The examples that come to mind when thinking of standards-based assessments are the pre and post assessments I give during my math assessments. This is a paper and pencil task and come from the “short-canned units” (Lewin & Shoemaker, 2007). How do I know my students have really held onto that information and are able to apply it after a post-assessment?
The lesson that I am creating now is going to be a norm-referenced formative assessment. Norm-referenced tests compare students to a norm group, or other group of students (Popham, 2014). Formative assessment is part of the teaching process and provides information as you are teaching the lesson or unit (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2007). In my lesson, students are given feedback as we move through the lesson and then in an authentic task at the end of the unit.
In 2nd grade, I do not do any high stakes testing. The high-stakes testing does not begin until students are in 3rd grade when they take the statewide assessments. The only assessments we do in 2nd grade that could be considered high-stakes might be the AIMS web testing which assesses fluency of reading, number facts, and math concepts and applications. This information is then reported and it is data that is reported to the district.
It has been reported that high-stakes testing has made teaching and school more stressful and less meaningful (Wheatley, 2015). I would agree with this statement, I am only in my 5th year of teaching and have already seen so many changes in the education system and in the morale of teachers. I find that this is due to all of the testing, teacher evaluations, and accountability. I have heard that the fun has been taken out of teaching from many teachers who have been teaching for a lot longer than me. I would also agree that it is stressful for both teachers and students. Many times I feel like I should say to my students: “sorry kids, no fun today, we have to get through all of this material before the end of the week”.
I feel that testing has taken away much of the intrinsic motivation for some students, others it might not because they want to perform well. Formative assessment on the other hand can be a tool used to enhance intrinsic motivation.
“AIMSweb Login.” AIMSweb Login. Web. 17 Apr. 2015. <https://aimsweb.pearson.com/>.
Garrison, C., & Ehringhaus, M. (2007). Formative and summative assessments in the classroom. Retrieved from http://www.amle.org/Publications/WebExclusive/Assessment/tabid /1120/Default.aspx
Lewin, Larry, and Shoemaker, Betty Jean. Great Performances : Creating Classroom-Based Assessment Tasks (2nd Edition). Alexandria, VA, USA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), 2011. ProQuest ebrary. Available: http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2081/lib/uasoutheast/reader.action?ppg=106&docID=10488667&tm=1428975832182 Web. 13 April 2015
Popham, James W. p. (2014). Criterion-Referenced Measurement: Half a Century
Wasted?. Educational Leadership, 71(6), 62-68. Retrieved from: Egan Library http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=94925708&login.asp&site=ehost-live
Wheatley, K. F. (2015). Factors that Perpetuate Test-Driven, Factory-Style Schooling:
Implications for Policy and Practice. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 10(2). Retrieved from: http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter/article/viewFile/261/pdf