Formative assessments are ongoing assessments, observations, summaries, and reviews that inform teacher instruction and provide students feedback on a daily basis (Fisher & Frey, 2007). While assessments are always crucial to the teaching and learning process, nowhere are they more important than in a differentiated classroom, where students of all levels of readiness sit side by side. Without the regular use of formative assessment, or checks for understanding, how are we to know what each student needs to be successful in our classroom? How else can we ensure we are addressing students' needs instead of simply teaching them what we think they need?
In her new book, 25 Quick Formative Assessments for a Differentiated Classroom, Judith Dodge describes a variety of simple techniques for ongoing assessment integrated into the instructional day. Try some sample activities in your own classroom using the excerpts below.