I have begun to use formative more for small group work. I’ve found that I can put reading or math questions and watch students work them. I’ve even had a student participate from vacation when I scheduled it with the parents before hand! The student was visiting grandparents in Florida, but participated in a Reading Comprehension lesson! I would love to incorporate more of that next year.
I’ve started to make Formatives that are more interactive. I love the “Show Your Work” because students can fill in graphic organizers, label diagrams and draw their own pictures. Adding video links can also create a more engaging lesson.
Formative is quickly becoming my favorite tool. I 'm loving the ideas I’ve come across in the community forum. I’ll be playing with this more over the summer and looking for more ways to use it to engage students.
We have mastery based learning at our school and therefore our curriculum is broken down into Learning Topics that students strive to master. I have used Formative as a way to break those learning topics down even further so that I can 1) create a progressive path to mastering that concept, 2) give students a nice ‘running start’ by beginning each LT path with pre-requisite skills they (should have) learned prior to my class, and 3) I can see exactly where students start to struggle in their learning process and I can intervene faster. My goal is for students to see ‘lot’s of green’ before they get their first red mark. This has been especially nice in my Algebra 1 class because 2 out of 3 students are not ready to learn the LT and this allows me to build in remediation right away, not after they’ve tried (and failed) the homework.
I use Formative to give my formative assessments more power. I can enter correct answers into the formative, allowing students to self assess, getting feedback immediately. I can also then gain an instant insight into how the class is understanding a topic at a glance. I plan to start a ‘flipped classroom’ next academic year and Formative will play a large role in it, assessing how well my students are understanding their ‘homework’.
Generally speaking, when analyzing the data from Formative responses (and really any formative assessment), I will determine the strengths and weaknesses for the class and individual students and then determine if I need to follow up with additional whole class direct instruction and reassessment or follow up with the individual to provide opportunities for independent improvement.
For now, it is primarily about answering the question, “Did the student/class accurately understand the content?” I am moving to a more standards-based learning cycle-- which I’m still trying to figure out the logistics within the confines of my district’s curriculum and grading policies-- but I’d like to design a class routine in which students autonomously complete formative learning tasks that are aligned with the standards. For now, we are using Formative for review-type activities prior to summative assessments.
Specifically looking at Formative question types, the Enhance a Doc question type will enable me to customize reading comprehension tasks. While like sites as Newsela, it is difficult to fit it into the class when my district won’t pay for subscription and I like to control/customize the content. I get to “hack” Newsela (for example) by using their articles, but putting in my own questions (yay!).
When using Formative in PD sessions, I can easily monitor session participation during and after the event as participants complete the Formative as a guest. It allows me to quickly gather data about the audience’s understanding of the concepts presented. This helps to inform my presentation and redirect as needed if participants struggle with material.
This is awesome Kate! I encourage you to check out our slow chat about standards-based learning that @Darcey_Teasdale@mgarcia & @d.vendramin led. Here’s the topic with the questions and links to the aligned discussions. So many great ideas emerged
We use mastery-based learning at my school. While I am a math teacher, I would be willing to share how I have used Formative and how I will tweak it for next year.
I will have two basic approaches:
ON track students (taking the class for the first time): I will take a more linear approach to teaching the concepts. Every 2-4 concepts, we will take a unit test. Students who don’t master each concept will be given independent work to practice those non-mastered concepts. When ready, students can retest to work towards mastery.
OFF track students (repeating a previously failed class): I will review 2-3 concepts a day. Students will then choose from a list of formatives to practice. They will chart their progress on a tracking sheet (pictured below) which be be a formative itself. (More details: Reflecting on Formative Assessment - #2 by tricia.mintner)
My district is focused on the content first-- we all teach the same texts at the same time. How we teach them is up to each individual teacher. So I don’t have to figure out WHAT to teach/assess.
Also my district directed teachers to use points with 100 percent grading system. I’ve grading with points my entire career, weighing assignments by their point value (HW/Classwork = 10-20 pts, Quizzes 20-80 points, Tests 100+ points, etc). When I first tried standards based grading using the 4,3,2,1 rubric, I realized very quickly that the percentage needs to align with the point of an assignment. 3/4 = 75% which is almost a D in our district. I’ve since switched to 5,4,3,2 rubric design so that the percentages align better with our A,B,C,D percentages. I could go on and on about rubric design, but I digress…
So I’m thinking if I want to go full blown standards-based, I need to stop looking at each assignment as a whole and look at each question as it is tagged with a standard. I’m still trying to figure out the logistics of how to manage that information and have that work with our existing gradebook platform.
So looking at your chart, you have students fill in the total score AND the score for each tagged standard, right? Managing this must be a monumental task! I’d love to learn more about your process!
I look forward to conversing more about this!
Thank you again for sharing!
We have a mastery-based system, but we are forced to use a traditional grade book. Until districts invest in mastery based grade books, we have to ‘tweak’ our system to make it align with A,B,C,D percentages. The closest system to the one you use, that I’ve used in the past, is something like a 9,8,7,6,5 scale… and a bonus of 10 for retention. The range for F is so big that it skews the system unless you are able to modify the grading scale within the district to say 4 = 100%, 3.8 = XX% and so on, have a category for each standard, and are able to drop/exempt scores in each category as time goes on. It’s my understanding that you only keep scores within a certain time range, like that last 2-weeks.
(Note: I’m licensed 1-8 for self-contained classrooms and 5-12 for mathematics, and I’ve taught as low as 3rd grade with those licenses.)
Our mastery based system is skewed towards the traditional because of the rigid grade book. I currently teach Algebra 1 to 9th grade students. We weight grades by category: 60% tests, 10% Spiral Tests, 15% Formative (classwork/homework), and 15% for the midterm. The emphasis is on mastering the tests. The rest of the grades are to support building and retaining mastery. We have common assessments comprised of 2-4 concepts. Each concept in a test is entered separately in our grade book out of 10 points. Students are allowed to retest after sufficient practice. Currently we use a ‘best score’ approach in the grade book by replacing the original test score if the student shows better mastery. The upper level math classes (Algebra 2, Pre-calculus, etc) were considering using full replacement; whether a student scored higher or lower, that retest score would replace the original.
In local districts, I’ve seen true standards based grade cards in Kindergarten, with a hybrid card for 1st grade that includes S,N,U markings for non-math and non-English grades and lettered grades for math and English. I guess it depends on your grade book and the type of report card you use. Your team uses the same texts, but do you have common assessments? Do you agree on the rubric-to-percentage conversion scale?
I am not sure if you’ve started to explore the Formative Tracker, but if you are tagging your Formative questions to standards, it’ll show you the class averages and individual student averages for each standard. If you click into a specific student, you can see their portfolio of student work for each standard as well. You could align the points you award within your formatives to match the grading system so that it converts nicely into your gradebook.
By the way, @mgarcia had shared this resource in one of our Certified Educator discussions. It allows you to setup a 4 point rubric with Google Sheets and set the weights for the numbers and the categories. I am not sure if it’s what you are looking for, but just throwing it out there!
I love using Formative responses to help reteach tricky concepts! I like hiding student names and sharing the data with my class. Students dissect the data to determine which questions students did well on as well as which ones we may need to revisit. We have great discussions regarding possible misconceptions and points of confusion. While we analyze the data together as a class I make mental notes regarding next steps for whole group and small group instruction.
It depends on the type of assessment I’ve created with it. As a warm-up, it will inform the direction I take the class or help me in creating my small groups to work with on a particular concept for that day. As a quick check-in during instruction, it will give me information as to how I continue with the class with teaching in a different way or to continue on while still noting who might need more practice still. As an exit-ticket, it gives me an idea of how well the information was processed and informs my instruction for the following day or again informs my grouping for the next small group session. As an assessment (which is what I’ve been using them for a little more lately), they serve to give me and my students quick and easy feedback as I’ve moved into standards-based grading this school year - and having each assessment a different standard helps with re-assessing for only one particular standard that the students might need. I’m looking for other ways I can use Formative to better improve student learning - so please - do share!
I plan to use goformative much more this upcoming school year. I plan to use it was a weekly/ unit opening. I also love the idea of using it for morning meeting and end of the day wrap ups. I love how easy it is to import Google Classroom and get going right off the start!
Wow, what great ideas! I’ve been using Go Formative for formative end of unit math assessments. It didn’t even cross my mind to use it in all these ways. From reading different posts, it looks like I should investigate how to embed programs/apps into my formatives.
I personally like the instant feedback that I get as a teacher. I use that formative data to see what specific standards I need to re-teach. Sometimes I do this through the use of rotation stations. At one specific station I have something called the “TEKS” station. The TEKS are the standards for the state of Texas. I have a file folder system broken down by standard. Students then take their own data from the formative from a report to see what TEKS they need to revisit. This helps me understand what my students need help with, and it helps them master standards they need to work on.
As a world languages teacher, I noticed that a lot of the answers I got on Formative were taken from Google Translate, and initially I was annoyed and disillusioned, but after a while I realized that students were actually learning information on it and applying it later in a different context. Then I decided that I would like to implement Google Translate in innovative ways, teaching students strings of sentences no matter where they first learned them, and accepting the fact that a language can be learned in all different ways - I don’t have to be the only provider of information. As long as a test is on paper or an oral interview where I can really tell the level of proficiency achieved by the students, I think that I need to give Google Translate a second look!
Oh I have used Formative all year! I took all of my grade level’s math tests and converted them to Formatives that I assigned through Google classroom as a pilot program for assessment.The reason I decided to use Formative is because it was much more user friendly than other sites I looked into. Our state testing, MCAS, is all online now so it is imperative to utilize online assessments. As I became more comfortable with Formative I used different question types and added images from screenshots of the old tests and images from online.
I also created a Google doc that served as scratch paper for students and a place to record the student score. Directions for parents to access the graded Formative were on the form so they could actually view the assessments once I was finished scoring them and closed the session. I really liked the way the test was scored so parents could see points, what was correct/incorrect and what answers should be. As far as grading Formatives, I really liked being able to easily score open responses since I could view multiple responses at once, or click through one at a time and leave feedback. I often used the “show your work” question because it gave students the ability to use the tools to create open responses that showed their work and explained their thinking. I was surprised at how easy those were to score.
The area I struggled with was providing accommodations such as read aloud. Looking ahead to next year I want to address that and that’s why I’ve been reading about different ways to do that. Next year will be the perfect opportunity to test out Speakpipe. That’s what I plan to try and will play around with this summer.
We have a new math program we are starting in the fall, and I advocated for using Go Formative for the assessments based on my experience with it this year. I’m happy to say that my grade level is on board. Next year all teachers in my grade with use Formative. With the help of a colleague, I plan to start converting the new math program’s assessments to Formatives this summer, incorporating some of the new ideas I’m learning about (Speakpipe, Flipgrid) into them.
Another way I plan to use Formative is for exit slips. I have been investigating the tool that can track progress based on standards and I think that would come in handy to keep track students success in mastering the standards. That data can help inform my intervention groups.
I also currently use Flipgrid and have read some threads on Formative about embedding Flipgrid into a Formative so students can video record a response. I plan to try that as well in place of a written response for explaining how to solve math problems.
I’m excited to continue learning about more ways to expand upon how I currently use Formative so that I can meet the needs of all my learners.