Formative Assessment of the Month

June Formative Assessment

"Austin's Butterfly" is a video that demonstrates how to provide parameters for peers to deliver high-quality feedback to one another. The three basic rules for peer critique, outlined in "Austin's Butterfly": be kind, specific, and helpful.

September Formative Assessment

Getting to know your students is an extremely important part of creating a nurturing and safe classroom climate. Take a few minutes to look at some of these classroom ideas. These can be adapted, as necessary, for the age group of your students.

October Formative Assessment

I was fortunate to attend a workshop at the University of Pennsylvania sponsored by the Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity on September 25th titled, Moving Students Into the Fast Lane with Suzy Pepper-Rollins.

The following link is another person's take-away from a similar session and it does a fantastic job of highlighting the strategies she mentions along with photos:

November Formative Assessment

Writing to Learn - Low Stakes: During the month of November, our schools will be taking time to focus on writing opportunities for all of our students across all content areas. This video clip from Edutopia is an excellent resource full of strategies for teachers and students to use.

December Formative Assessment

Steal-A-Seat Review

Musical Chairs is a game that people of all ages will recognize. It is games like this that can be easily translated into a movement activity in the classroom simply by changing the rules a bit and adding some academic content. No one will be eliminated in this game, but the competition for a seat will surely engage them all.

  1. Set up the room so that the chairs are in a circle facing out so they can easily be occupied. Remove one chair from the group so that there is one less chair than there are students.
  2. Post a question chart on the wall.
  3. Play the music and instruct the students to circle around the chairs while the music is playing. At any point, stop the music. Students should quickly try to find a seat to sit in. There should be one student without a chair.
  4. The student left standing must choose another student whose chair they will "steal". The seated student stands, while the standing student sits in his/her seat.
  5. The seated student must then turn to the right and ask the student seated next to him/her to choose a question from the chart. The seated student must then attempt to answer the question using the standing student as a coach or guide.
  6. Discuss the question and the answer as a class.
  7. Ask everyone to stand and play the music again, prompting the students to continue circling the chairs. (Do not remove any additional chairs. The game should continue with all students involved.)
  8. Continue playing until you feel the class has had a substantial review.

January Formative Assessment

Laundry Day

Cassandra Erkens

The Review :

Two days prior to a final test for a unit, Señora Muñoz creates ‘laundry day’ in her classroom

during which students prepare to ‘clean up’ whatever it is they still might not understand. On

that day, students enter the classroom to find different laundry jugs in 4 corners of the room.

Each jug represents a different stage in their level of readiness for the test:


–students select this detergent if they are believe the tidal wave of information

might drown them. In the Tide corner the learning activities involve a comprehensive

review of the information and/or an activity that might help the learners experience the

information in a different way. Students from the Cheer group often times hang out here

to mentor and find creative ways to represent the information that their peers might better



–students select this detergent if they understand the basics of the concepts taught,

but seem to be missing some of the nuances or finer details. Learning activities in this

corner involve investigation as students identify the details around which they are unsure

and then examine the text, homework examples, internet sources and other classroom

resources to gain their answers.


–students select this detergent if they are fairly confident they will pass the unit

exam, but still have a few niggling questions. Often times, Bold activities involve

creating possible review activities for future classes or test questions for the teacher to

consider and then challenging each other, as they might in a game show, with completing

their own activities.


–students select this detergent if they are certain they will be successful on the

exam. Cheer activities involve enrichment activities to extend and refine their learning.

One such activity involves helping the students in the Tide section. Interestingly, a

majority of the students in this category select the option of helping those in the Tide

category. Using their homework as ‘evidence’ as to where they belong, students select the appropriate

corner and move toward the laundry jug where they find the appropriate worksheets or activities

or instructions to support their continued growth. Students work on these activities for two days

and then they take the test. Because “laundry day” is an established practice in Señora Muñoz’s

classroom, students come prepared with an understanding of which jug they will visit for that

particular unit of study and they get right to work with addressing the responsibilities laid out for

that detergent. None of the work generated in these few days ‘counts’ in the gradebook and

students readily accept the opportunity to increase their chances of success on the test.

February Formative Assessment

Extreme Paper Rock Scissors

March Formative Assessment


April Formative Assessment

May Formative Assessment

Post-It Plus App

Check out this app. There are so many ways you can use this to store your post-it note activities in order to check for understanding.

Additional Resources