As, of and for Learning.

Formative assessment is to Summative assessment as the route is to the destination.

Assessment can be thought of as assessment OF learning, assessment AS learning, and assessment FOR learning.

Assessment of learning, often thought of as Summative assesment.

“It is designed to provide evidence of achievement to parents, other educators, the students themselves and sometimes to outside groups (e.g., employers, other
educational institutions).”
Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind.Page 55.
  • is used to plan future learning goals and pathways for students
  • provides evidence of achievement to the wider community, including parents, educators, the students themselves and outside groups
  • provides a transparent interpretation across all audiences.

Assessment as learning 

This type of assessment occurs when students are their own assessors. Students monitor their own learning, ask questions and use a range of strategies to decide what they know and can do, and how to use assessment for new learning.

  • encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning
  • requires students to ask questions about their learning
  • involves teachers and students creating learning goals to encourage growth and development
  • provides ways for students to use formal and informal feedback and self-assessment to help them understand the next steps in learning
  • encourages peer assessment, self-assessment and reflection.

Assessment for learning 

This involves teachers using evidence about students’ knowledge, understanding and skills to inform their teaching. Sometimes referred to as ‘formative assessment’, it usually occurs throughout the teaching and learning process to clarify student learning and understanding.

  • reflects a view of learning in which assessment helps students learn better, rather than just achieve a better mark
  • involves formal and informal assessment activities as part of learning and to inform the planning of future learning
  • includes clear goals for the learning activity
  • provides effective feedback that motivates the learner and can lead to improvement
  • reflects a belief that all students can improve
  • encourages self-assessment and peer assessment as part of the regular classroom routines
  • involves teachers, students and parents reflecting on evidence
  • is inclusive of all learners.

Video on designing formative assessment.

My Lesson

In my English class, teaching the Phonics and Word Recognition standards of;

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context.

The objective is “Students will read and recognize root/base words and affixes in unfamiliar multi-syllabic words with accuracy.”

I have incorporated some formative assessment into the class.

Lesson Procedure

(Formative assessments in BOLD and underlined)

  1. Students will enter class and do the Do now activity – Answer three questions on identifying either 1. The Root, 2. The Prefix, and 3. The Suffix of 3 words.
  2. Rationale for Do it now, I can quickly check and see a snapshot of how well all students can understand the constituent parts of unfamiliar words as well as having the students tune into the context of the class.
  3. Students will watch the BrainPOP movie Roots, Prefixes, Suffixes.
  4. Formative assessment:Think, pair, share. Students first think (and take note of) any difficulties or things they didn`t understand from the movie, they then pair up and share that information with their partner. I will observe them to assess their pairing and sharing. We will then discuss the movie as a whole.
  5. Rationale – Why the Think, Pair, Share? This is similar the Gradual Release of Responsibility model, the students, in that it is a graduated level of expectation of understanding. The students first thinking by themselves, forms the “you do” portion, then by pairing they are performing the “you all do” then finally when we share as a whole it finally becomes “we do”.
  6. Students will take the Review Quiz and attempt to identify some of the vocabulary from the movie. The Activity page may be used to assist in this.
  7. Formative assessment – review Quiz, the students answer 10 question (BrainPop) on root words and their affixes.
  8. Rationale for the Review Quiz – After the preceding assessments if a child does poorly in the quiz I can see what needs to be retaught or re-framed to each individual child.
  9. Pass out paper and markers and have students get in their groups. Each group will have its own color marker which is different from the other groups’ color.
  10. Give students in Group 1 about 4 minutes to write down a root word on their index card. Give students in Group 2 the same time to write a prefix on their index card, and give students in Group 3 the same time to write a suffix on their index card.
  11. Formative assessment – Building words
  12. Ask if any student from Group 1 would like to share their root word. Then ask Group 2 if anyone can use their prefix + the root word to make a new word. If no new words can be made from the prefix index cards, make a new word as a class using a different prefix.
  13. Ask if any student from Group 3 would like to use their suffix card + the root word to make a new word. If no new words can be made from the suffix index cards, make a new word as a class.
  14. Repeat the activity until all root words have been shared. A list of all new words made can be recorded on chart paper. Facilitate a discussion about which prefixes and suffixes are the most common.
  15. Rationale for Building words assessment. – Whilst it would be possible for the teacher to formatively assess the various students using this assessment, it would be quite difficult to keep a clear records of who and needs help and what kind of help they need, so this assessment is primarily of participation and involvement.
  16. The 20 most common prefixes account for 97% of all prefixed words students will encounter. The 4 most common prefixes account for about 65% of all prefixed words used in school. Students will paste the most common prefixes and suffixes form into their notebooks. (See below)

Extension Activity: For additional practice, set a timer and have students use the Root words from Group 1 to create as many new words as they can.

Formative assessment : Use Individual whiteboards for the students to write their individual answers to questions on the roots, prefixes and suffixes. Once all students have written an answer, I will ask them to raise their whiteboards so I can quickly check every student’s answer.

Rational – Why Whiteboards? Students can share their answers (Write or Wrong) and feel free to do so without the potential stigma of being wrong and without the pressure of saying their answer in front of the class. It also allows me to group students together by the level of their understanding. This means that I can also know where and how to focus my attention.

Give the link to BBC Skillwise – Roots, video and quiz for practice at home. Link here.


Suffixes list

Suffix Meaning Example
1. s, es Plurals Boys
2. ed Past-tense verbs Wanted
3. ing Verb-form / present particle Playing
4. ly Characteristic of Friendly
5. er, or Person connected with Teacher
6. ion, tion, ation Act, processs Action
7. ible, able Can be done Likeable
8. al, il Having characteristics of Final
9. y Characterized by Funny
10. ness State of, condition of Happiness
11. ity, ty State of Activity
12. ment Action or process Enjoyment
13. ic Having characteristics of Comic
14. ous, eous, ious Possessing the qualityes of Serious
15. en Made of Enliven
16. er Comparative Bigger
17. ive, ative, itive Adjective form of noun Attentive
18. ful Full of Sorrowful
19. less Without Hopeless
20. est Comparative Biggest

Prefixes list

Prefix Meaning Example
1. un not, opposite of Unhappy
2. re Again, back Rebuild, restart, rejoin
3. in, im,ir,il Not, opposite of Insecure, illegal, immovable
4. dis Not, opposite of, remove Disbelieve
5. en, em Cause to Empower
6. non Not, opposite of Nonsense
7. in, im, in, into In, into Inbound, immerge
8. over Too much, above Overstate
9. mis Wrongly Misjudge
10. sub Under, lower Submarine
11. pre Before Pregame
12. inter Between, among Interpersonal
13. fore Before Forerunner
14. de Opposite of, down, remove, reduce Declassify, degrade, deicer
15. trans Across, change, through Transatlantic, transact, transition, transparent
16. super Above, beyond Superman, superimpose
17. semi Half, partial Semicircle, semifinal
18. anti Against Antitrust
19. mid Middle Midlevel, midstream
20. under Too little, below Underpaid

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