How do you use Formative to assess student levels before content is taught?

As we continue with our slow chat on using Formative at the beginning of the year, let’s start thinking about measuring student growth. Our next question may feel a bit cliche, but please remember that we all have something to bring to the table and share!

Q2: How do you use Formative to assess student levels before content is taught?

@informed_members @Certified_Educators @new_members @jdunn @chase.kirkpatrick

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I find for myself, I’ve had to build these pre-post assessments over time because if you don’t have them already made the task is a bit daunting. In one course I teach I use a pretty quick low-level assessment in the beginning, then I regenerate the questions and give it at the end too. So far this year All my students have improved from pre-post test.

I export the results to a spreadsheet then subtract the percentages and color-code them. Even the students who don’t earn an A on the post-test are encouraged when they see they moved from 35% to 75% showing an increase of 40% Here’s a sample:

PrePost

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We use a pre-assessment composed of the standards and learning targets for the unit. We then use the data to drive our instruction for the unit and focus on the areas that students need the most help.

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Thanks @Ashley_Rodriguez! That ties in a bit with what the #FormativeChat was about last night!

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I too use the same best practice of pre and post assessments. I share your same feeling of having assessments pre-made. Do you use a different spreadsheet per standards? topic?

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@rsanders I do different spreadsheets by unit. What I’d really like to do is have a have something like the GoFormative Standards tracker except, it has a line graph of the standards over time either by student or by class. Or even look at all the standards by individual student.

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:thinking: Mastery Connect https://www.masteryconnect.com/video/demo/ does something similar but you have to put each assessment in yourself or you can find some from the library. It also lets you tag each question by standard.

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Great question! I love how @Ashley_Rodriguez is aligning pre-assessments with standards to inform unit planning.

Agreed, this would be an awesome visual!

If you want to take a closer look at how students are doing on each standard, you can click on the student name and it’ll show a breakdown of their average for each standard. If you click on a specific standard, it’ll show a portfolio of their responses for it across all formatives:

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A playlist, choice board, learning pathway etc. Students can skip parts of the playlist, choice board, learning pathway etc. by demonstrating mastery of the week’s learning goal in the pretest taken at the beginning of the week. If students show mastery, they either work on extension activities from the playlist or alternate projects that apply and deepen their understanding of the week’s learning standard. At the end of each class, I lead the class in a whole-group reflection, prompting each student to record their daily progress and reflect on their work

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I knew about clicking on the tracker but what I didn’t know is that I could click on a specific standard. :kissing_closed_eyes: goFormative never lets me down.

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I use the percentage breakdown per question on my pretest to determine where my kids are content wise. I teach 6th grade ancient history and from my pretest I learned that 37% of my students think dinosaurs existed at the same time as humans. Something I would otherwise assume my kids should know is still something I need to clear up. I am asked this question every year and I am happy that by asking the question through formative a couple of kids save face by not asking the question out loud. Then I use the percentages as a game of sorts to let the kids guess how much we improved when the question is asked again. It’s a small way to incentivize the kids to work together as a team/ class to improve on their knowledge base.

On my end, I have a chart with the pretest %, Check in 1 %. Check in 2 %, and final %. I use check in 1 for immediately after I teach that question in some capacity, check in 2 for a later review date, and final for the final test. This allows me to mark and check growth as needed. I use this concept for the standard strands through the Formative tracker but sometimes I want to mark specific questions that I reference throughout the year.

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What a great example of how we can build in some of the misconceptions our kids have into our instruction!

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We often take the same assessment at the beginning of the unit and again at the end. Being able to compare this on formative and show students their growth is very beneficial for my little learners and reminding them just how much they have truly learned!

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This sounds like a great way to build a team mentality!

Interesting! So in other words, you assess your students on the same questions throughout the year and want to compare their attempts on them? :slight_smile:

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I like your strategies. I saw you mentioned Mastery Connect previously. I haven’t used it but have seen it in action. I’ve also heard from parents who really don’t like the SBG part of it. They we griping about not having the letter grade for GPA purposes. I think Master Connect remedied that somehow but don’t know for sure.

As far as Formative goes, I really like @david 's post. I knew you could drill into the question responses by standard in the Tracker but didn’t know you could drill down into the student’s performance for each of the standards.

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These answers have surprised me! The answer to this question isn’t just an echo chamber. Thanks to all who have shared! I’ve gotten some really great ideas for my own use.

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I just used Formative to teach graphing today. They have not graphed yet this year. Then I used a google slide presentation on how to graph properly. We went over the class responses using the hide names feature - the kids helped me score them.

Then they did a second graphing problem and their scores went way up. They felt really good about it!

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It depends on the question. A lot of my kids had difficulty locating Africa on a map this year. So I may change the maps (political vs physical) or the question format as I go but I will still be asking them to correctly locate Africa on a map. Other questions I may change the wording. There are several specific ideas and questions that a lot of 6th graders struggle with so I want to make sure I have a system to check growth in those areas. I could use the standards tool but NJ social studies standards are very broad and I want to check specific aspects of certain standards.

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Great idea to have students learning from each other!

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@mszczepanik I like your use-case and how you applied it! Did you think about embedding that Google Slide show into Formative? It might change how you deliver the lesson but it also would make the lesson more accessible to absentees and allow for self-paced learning.

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