Common Formative Assessments

Matthew Morgan
Imran Abbasi
Schalmont Central School District
Clarify essential learning (skills, knowledge,
dispositions) for each course/subject to
ensure students have access to a guaranteed
and viable curriculum, unit by unit.
1. What is it we expect them to learn?
2. How will we know when they’ve learned it?
3. How will we respond when they don’t
learn it?
4. How will we respond when they already
know it?
PLC’s attempt to answer these critical
questions by first BUILDING SHARED
KNOWLEDGE – engaging in collective inquiry –
LEARNING together,
If people make decisions based on the
collective study of the same pool of
information, they increase the likelihood that
they will arrive at the same conclusion.
Only happens when the teachers who deliver
the curriculum work collaboratively to:
Study the intended curriculum and agree on
the priorities within the curriculum.
Clarify how the curriculum translates into
specific student knowledge and skills.
Commit to one another that they will teach
the agreed upon curriculum.
“The true purpose of assessment must be,
first and foremost, to inform instructional
decision making. Otherwise, assessment
results are not being used to their maximum
potential—improving student achievement
through differentiated instruction.”
--Ainsworth and Viegut, 2006, pp21-22
Traditional Instruction-Assessment Model
Instruction-Assessment Model with Data
• Analyze
• Plan to
• Monitor,
• Reteach
Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006
1. Intended: What we want them to learn
2. Implemented: What actually gets taught
3. Attained: What they actually learn
To impact the attained curriculum in the most
powerful way, we must make certain that the
implemented curriculum is guaranteed and
Understand the definition of a common
formative assessment
Identify priority standards
Identify why and when to use common
formative assessments
Identify the next steps after giving a common
formative assessment
Determine structural needs to implement a
system of common formative assessments
To identify what the essential priority
standards, apply these three criteria:
1. Endurance: Are students expected to
retain the skills or knowledge after they have
been assessed?
2. Leverage: Is this skill or knowledge
applicable to many academic disciplines?
3. Readiness for the next level of learning: Is
this skill or knowledge preparing the student
for success in the next grade or course?
Value for Life; LongLasting Knowledge
Prepares Students
for the Next Level
of Learning
Has Value in Many
… assess the learning of all students
pursuing the same curriculum through the
use of the same instrument and the same
… are administered during the same window
of time.
… are administered to all students with
appropriate modifications and adaptations.
Assessments for learning administered to all
students in grade level or course several
times during a unit of study, semester or year
Items collaboratively designed by
participating teachers
Results analyzed in Data Teams in order to
differentiate instruction
Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006
 “Not
standardized tests, but
rather teacher-created, teacherowned assessments that are
collaboratively scored and that
provide immediate feedback to
students and teachers.”
What is it we expect students to learn?
Priority Standards
How will we know when they have learned it?
Common Assessments (Form and Summ)
How will we respond when they don’t?
How will we respond when they do?
Enrichment or Differentiation
 If
all students are expected to
demonstrate the same knowledge
and skills, regardless of the
teacher to which they are
assigned, it only makes sense that
teachers must work together in a
collaborative effort to assess
student learning.
--DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, et. al
Not all assessments need to be
common assessments. CFAs should
be collaboratively developed around
essential priority standards.
Represent the “content and performance
standards for a given subject matter area in
terms of their endurance, leverage and ability
to prepare students for readiness at the next
level of learning.
--Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006, p31
Focus on Priority standards when
developing CFAs but do not ignore others
 Teams
need to work
collaboratively to determine
scoring rubrics and levels of
 If possible, CFAs should be
collaboratively scored and results
analyzed as a team
Shift 1
Balancing Informational
& Literary Text
Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts.
Shift 2
Knowledge in the Disciplines
Students build knowledge about the world (domains/ content
areas) through TEXT rather than the teacher or activities
Shift 3
Staircase of Complexity
Students read the central, grade appropriate text around which
instruction is centered. Teachers are patient, create more time
and space and support in the curriculum for close reading.
Shift 4
Text-based Answers
Students engage in rich and rigorous evidence based
conversations about text.
Shift 5
Writing from Sources
Writing emphasizes use of evidence from sources to inform or
make an argument.
Shift 6
Academic Vocabulary
Students constantly build the transferable vocabulary they
need to access grade level complex texts. This can be done
effectively by spiraling like content in increasingly complex
The first steps are related to “unwrapping” the
standards so that your assessments are aligned
to the shifts in the Common Core.
This is applicable to all subject areas not just ELA or
Choose an Important Topic
Identify Matching Priority Standards
“Unwrap” Matching Priority Standards
Create a Graphic Organizer
Determine the Big Ideas
Write the Essential Questions
Step One: Important Topic: Reading
Rationale: Important to all subjects and closely
aligned with Shift #4: Text-Based Answers.
Step Two: Match Priority Standards
Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and
Technical Subjects 6-12.
Grades 9-10 Students: 2. Determine the central
ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s
explanation or depiction of a complex process,
phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate
summary of the text.
Step Three “Unwrap” the standards.
Underline the concepts (important nouns or
noun phrases and circle or capitalize the
skills (verbs).
DETERMINE the central ideas or conclusions
of a text; TRACE the text’s explanation or
depiction of a complex process,
phenomenon, or concept; PROVIDE an
accurate summary of the text.
Concepts: Need to KNOW about
or Concept
Skills: Be Able to DO
Level of Blooms
Skill and Related Concept
4. analyze
Determine (central
2. understand
Trace (process, phenomenon or
6. create
Provide (accurate summary)
Use the unwrapped standards and graphic
organizer to help create the Big Ideas to
◦ Use text-based questions to determine if students
 Identify a main idea
 Understand a process
 Create an accurate summary
Each PLC must create 2 Common Formative
Assessments over the course of the school
◦ Sept-Nov: Develop Goal and create CFA aligned to
standards (Common Core or State)
◦ December: Conduct and analyze CFA

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