Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes (CCSSO FAST SCASS, 2006). Formative assessment should be purposeful in order to provide feedback that teachers can use immediately. Formative assessment fits seamlessly into instruction in a way that allows teachers to make minute to minute modifications. This portion of the training will allow you to explore numerous formative assessment strategies to use in your classroom.

Why Formative Assessment?

The North Carolina Educator Evaluation System articulates the expectation that teachers will use formative assessment evaluation student progress, provide feedback, and inform instruction. Review Standard IV elements H, C, and F below to see the clear, specific alignment between the North Carolina Educator Evaluation Standards and formative assessment. (Element H speaks directly to formative assessment. Elements C and F allude to formative assessment.)

Element IVh. Teachers use a variety of methods to assess what each student has learned. Teachers use multiple indicators, including formative and summative assessments, to evaluate student progress and growth as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps. Teachers provide opportunities, methods, feedback, and tools for students to assess themselves and each other. Teachers use 21st century assessment systems to inform instruction and demonstrate evidence of students’ 21st century knowledge, skills, performance, and dispositions.

Element IVc Teachers use a variety of instructional methods. Teachers choose the methods and techniques that are most effective in meeting the needs of their students as they strive to eliminate achievement gaps. Teachers employ a wide range of techniques including information and communication technology, learning styles, and differentiated instruction.

Element IVf. Teachers help students work in teams and develop leadership qualities. Teachers teach the importance of cooperation and collaboration. They organize learning teams in order to help students define roles, strengthen social ties, improve communication and collaborative skills, interact with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and develop leadership qualities.
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Explore, Pair, Share Activity: Step 1

  1. Take a look at the notecard provided to you at the beginning of the training. The number on the card will correspond to the type of formative assessment strategies that you will explore by clicking on the appropriate topic below.

  2. Take 10 minutes to review the strategies aligned with your topic.

  3. Use one side of your notecard, collect the following information:

    • Your favorite strategy.

    • How you plan to use this strategy with students.

    • How you might modify this strategy to meet your needs.

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1. Pre-Assessment/Activating Strategies


2. Communication and Cooperative Learning Strategies


3. Comprehension Strategies


4. Organizational/Note-Taking Strategies


5. Quick Check Methods of Formative Assessment


6. Reviewing, Summarizing, and Assessment Strategies

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Explore, Pair, Share Activity: Step 2

  1. Take your notecard with you to find a partner with a different number on their notecard and who is NOT sitting at your table.

  2. Take turns over the next five minutes sharing the strategy each of you selected.

  3. Use the reverse side of your card to record the following information:

    • Your partner's favorite strategy

    • How your partner plans to use this strategy

    • How you might modify this strategy to meet your own needs

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Explore, Pair, Share Activity: Step 3

  1. Return to your table with your notecard.

  2. Take turns over the next ten minutes sharing either the strategy you chose or the strategy you learned about from your pair partner.

    **Click here to access word document of all strategies.

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“The resources provided during the course of this NCDPI training have been helpful to some educators across the state. However, due to the rapidly changing resources available, NCDPI does not represent nor endorse that these resources are the exclusive resources for the purposes outlined during this training."