Formative Assessments work as Monitoring

At my cooperating school, I witness formative assessments being used to monitor, quite often.

Specifically, this happened during a think-pair-share in the midst of a reading lesson. During the lesson, the students were reading a story about Mae Jemison who was the first African American Female to go to space. After they read the story as a class. The teacher asked the students a question; “What are some Characteristics of Mae Jamison?” She first had them think about their answers for a minute, then share them with their neighbors, and then to the whole class.

The think-pair-share is a great formative assessment to use as a monitoring technique. Also, according to Martin monitoring is “This function can occur through observation of behaviors, or more actively, through assessment techniques such as asking questions or assigning problems to solve”, which alligns perfectly with a think-pair-share. In this instance, the teacher used their characteristics of Mae Jamison as a way to monitor if they comprehended the story. She thought it was important that before the class moves on with other activities about Mae Jamison, that the students had a very good understanding of her.

The technology that they teacher used was a big, sticky piece of paper that the teacher made a character chart on for Mae. As students were giving their characteristics, the teacher would write them down. If she did not think something was correct, she would question it, and ask for everyone to go back in the story to find the correct fact. This was a formative way for her to monitor the students’ comprehension on the reading and she was able to quickly adjust what was incorrect.

Overall, I think that my cooperating teacher’s subliminal use of formative assessment was a great way to gauge where her students were.

Resources

Martin, L. (2012). Connection, Translation, Off-Loading, and Monitoring: A Framework for Characterizing the Pedagogical Functions of Educational Technologies. Technology, Knowledge & Learning, 17(3), 87-107.

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