Good morning BUSFCS! This is just a test to see if it works!! Yes, but some bumps on take-off!
Are we having fun yet?

Group Members: BUSINESS Dept.-Rhonda Schmaltz, Tim Seifert and FCS Dept.---Margaret Strasser, Carol Van Waardhuizen
  • How would you define Formative Assessment? During the learning process it can show the learner's strengths and weaknesses or assess progress on a project. It does not have to include a grade but may have a checklist, rubric, etc. as a learning guide. It works great for the performance based labs that are in our content area.
  • What was new or surprised you? It seems students need to be trained in self-assessment so that they can understand the main purpose of their learning and therefore grasp what they need to do to achieve. While it can help all students, it yields good results with low achievers by concentrating on specific problems with their work and giving them a clear understanding of what is wrong and how to put it right, unless there are other issues. There is firm evidence that formative assessment is essential to help raise standards for the school and we need to make changes and not pay lip service to formative assessment.
  • What are the implications for our work within collaborative groups? To understand how important it is to encourage changes in the current grading system and work within our groups to do more performance task assessment on a daily/weekly basis within departments and then get administration/parents to see how it can help raise standards for the district and make some goals for the district.
  • What additional information do you need with respect to formative assessments? Continue to see examples to support the importance of this type of assessment from the various departments within the school.

Carol’s feedback: How would you define Formative Assessment? All the student learning evidence that we see, hear and experience in the classroom which can be used to improve, and change our instruction so that the learners can grasp and accomplish more during each course or unit. We can also ask them to do more reflective and self-evaluative methods so that we can see what they are learning from their perspective. In all of these, we need to provide specific feedback for them to gain and improve skills, versus simply grading work that is submitted.
What was new or surprised you? Not new, but I did appreciate the succinct way that the article expressed the true need for improving effective teaching and effective learning! I also thought the statement that “each teacher must find his or her own ways of incorporating the lessons . . . into the cultural norms and expectations of a particular school community” to be profound. Sustained programs of professional development and support are necessary. Teachers NEED a variety of LIVING examples of implementation so they can derive the confidence to do better. School should support teachers with time for small groups that plan, implement and reflect on new formative assessments plus the time to advise others. All of this is a slow, steady but worthy process.
What are the implications for our work within collaborative groups?This article solidifies my belief that the time for collaboration is very important and the hope that we won’t shift gears with new, emerging demands every time one happens.
What additional information do you need with respect to formative assessments? I enjoyed hearing the practical ways that other teachers make this part of their daily routine. I would love to know how to gain the cooperation of all my students to adopt a culture of success, where all pupils can achieve to their personal best. I also wish our students would cooperate in thoughtful reflection and dialogue where ALL students take part in meaningful discussion of “deeper significance.” I wish that students would also see the immense value of lifelong learning and then make every moment of life count toward end goals.