Sunday, March 1, 2009

5 minute formative assessments for science classes

This is volume one of a three part series by the current president of the NSTA, Page Keeley, and her cohort of educational researchers. It is a fabulous resource for all content areas, K-12. I use these books in a variety of ways; sometimes to begin a content workshop for elementary teachers (so I know where they are, science-wise) or to instigate a discussion on the importance of classroom-based formative assessment with middle level or high school teachers.

Most recently, I used a few probes in a workshop that I did for eight high-school chemistry and physics teachers. We discussed at length the importance of and differences between summative assessments and formative assessments and how each are vital, but serve different essential functions for teachers and students. Summative assessments are assessments OF learning, formative assessments are assessments FOR learning and can be a powerful instructional tool!

Check out the books at If you are a member, you get a discount. Or, if you buy all three at you can get a discount (and maybe super-saver shipping!).

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