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**Fred Gross Education Development Center, Inc.**

Teaching Teachers to Implement a Comprehensive Approach to Formative Assessment in Middle Grades Mathematics Classrooms Fred Gross Education Development Center, Inc.

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**Goals for the session Participants will leave with:**

A deeper understanding of formative assessment A model to help inform teachers about formative assessment A means to connect formative assessment and reflective practice.

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**Agenda What is formative assessment? Why study it?**

A professional development model for middle school math teachers Formative Assessment as a Reflective Practice Importance context for understanding formative assessment from our perspective. Why did we decide to go in this direction? Why did we choose our PD model for teacher learning?

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**What is Formative Assessment?**

“Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes.” Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Focus on the process and not merely tools. Some disagreement in the field. Foundation of our work is within the process.

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**Why Formative Assessment?**

“…there is strong evidence that formative assessment can raise standards of pupil achievement: Black & Wiliam, 1998 “The process used by teachers and students to recognize and respond to student learning in order to enhance that learning, during the lesson (Bell & Cowie, 2001, p. 536) Formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited of students’ status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics (Popham, 2008, p.6) We learned that much of the literature from the US focused on what the teacher could do, but often left out the very important role for the students: student ownership and involvement Very little in math

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**Why Formative Assessment?**

Field Work Large urban district attempting to implement formative assessment in mathematics at the elementary level. Different level of discussion about instructional practices I used to think that formative assessment was just the assessment teachers use to figure out if students understood the lesson or not, but I now think that formative assessment is a process which is a series of planning, reflection, and feedback by the teacher and the student. This process seems to be something I have been missing from my own teaching. (Heritage, 2010, p. 5) Who were they? Math coaches at the elementary level. Changed the conversation. A deeper understanding of learning and then teaching. We thought that this approach (focus on FA) may make a difference in how students learn and how teachers change their instructional practices. Would FA make a difference for a math teacher? Middle school level?

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**Why Professional Development in Formative Assessment?**

“…the research literature, points to the need for an effective professional development program that provides a comprehensive model of formative assessment in mathematics classrooms” (Popham, 2008; Heritage et al., 2008) Existing programs present some aspects of formative assessment (Bright & Joyner, 2004; Vermont Institute, 2008) but none present the full range that we, and others consider critical (CCSS), 2008; Wiliam, 2007) Comprehensive plan that is full ranged Connections between the essential elements or aspects of FA

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**Funded by the National Science Foundation**

What is our Project? Formative Assessment in the Mathematics Classroom: Engaging Teachers and Students (FACETS) A 5-year project Develop a 2-year intensive profession development model to build middle grades mathematics teachers’ knowledge and implementation of formative assessment. Funded by the National Science Foundation Research and Development Grant/formative information about the PD and the research instruments Teacher Trajectories as they learn and implement FA? What impact does the PD have on teachers’ learning FA?

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**Overall Design of the FACETS Project**

Year 1: Immersed in the Research Literature Design the Professional Development for the First Cohort Year 2 & 3: Cohort 1 Pilot Study of the Professional Development Model Year 4 & 5: Cohort 2 Field Test of the Professional Development Model Why 2 years? Cohort 1 is a group of 23 teachers from 2 states. Mixture of rural, urban and suburban schools Cohort 2 – looking like about 60 teachers.

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**Professional Development Structure**

Pg 1 Building on Knowledge Institutes – Summer and two mid-year workshops. Designed because we felt that the teachers needed more time and direction when thinking about and implementing FA. They asked a lot of questions indicating this need Video – helps to provide images –checking about LI and SC Student work – feedback to each other. Example of what something could look like, such as understands a portion of an assignment Classroom support – will talk more about it later

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**Target for Professional Development**

In their packet pg. 2 Talk about the continuum of learning FOUNDATIONAL – GRADUALLY INTEGRATE (Seeing the connections between critical aspect [ KNOWLEDGE BASE) – to- [IMPLEMENTATION base] Goal – habitual integration

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**FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT as a**

REFLECTIVE PROCESS What follows are some questions we ask to provide a framework for looking at individual aspects of formative assessment and connections between them.

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**Reflective Process: Fundamental Questions**

“How does the learning of mathematics evolve for students?” Thinking about a continuum of mathematics. Where their learning evolves over time with an interest in the building of mathematical concepts Why – one participant said that this would help her to make decisions on what to focus on. Specifically, where did a mathematical concept break down for a student?

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**Reflective Process: Fundamental Questions**

“How does the learning of mathematics evolve for students?” “How do you convey important mathematics goals to students? How do you help them understand what it will look like when their learning is on track?” Static vs. Interactive Posting vs engaging in understanding what is to be learned. How do teachers let their students know what is to be learned (in a lesson or unit)? How can the teacher/student know that their learning is on the right track.

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**Reflective Process: Fundamental Questions**

“How does the learning of mathematics evolve for students?” “How do you convey important mathematics goals to students? How do you help them understand what it will look like when their learning is on track?” “How do you gather and interpret evidence of students’ understanding?” Gathering – not just how, but for what purpose are you collecting evidence (confidence; level understanding) Gathering – are you using a technique that will align with your purpose for gathering evidence? What will you interpret and why? Beyond got it, don’t have it. Can you use your interpretation of the evidence to make quick decisions about your instructional strategies?

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**Reflective Process: Fundamental Questions**

“How does the learning of mathematics evolve for students?” “How do you convey important mathematics goals to students? How do you help them understand what it will look like when their learning is on track?” “How do you gather and interpret evidence of students’ understanding?” “How do you provide effective feedback to students to move their learning forward?” MOVE LEARNING FORWARD – key component Another key component is that the students can actually use the feedback to move their learning forward A smiley face suggests praise, but doesn’t move the learning forward

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**Reflective Process: Fundamental Questions**

“How does the learning of mathematics evolve for students?” “How do you convey important mathematics goals to students? How do you help them understand what it will look like when their learning is on track?” “How do you gather and interpret evidence of students’ understanding?” “How do you provide effective feedback to students to move their learning forward?” “How do you involve students more fully in gauging their own learning? (Questions – pg. 3) Taking hold of one’s learning means taking more responsibility for your own learning. Need a quote from Margaret Heritage about student ownership Does the classroom environment support student ownership What does student ownership mean?

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Although we don’t yet know everything about the most effective learning environments, the existing research on cognition and motivation provides clear and strong evidence that activating students as owners of their own learning is an essential component. Wiliam, 2011, p.151 Quick note about student involvement

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**Quote from Participating Teacher**

I’m really understanding that with FA, ultimately it’s about getting students engaged in their own learning. Classroom culture is so important – students stick their heads out (like a little turtle) and as they figure out it’s safe to share their thinking, then they do it more and more. I’m seeing that change. 5 questions coming together

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**FACETS: 2 Reflective Practices**

Learning Group Teachers meet on a monthly basis to discuss their understanding of formative assessment Online Component Web based discussions between monthly learning groups Development of lesson plan Quick slide – move to more in-depth information Important part of the PD structure

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**FACETS: Reflective Practices**

Learning Group Teachers discuss specific aspects of what they are learning in their understanding and implementation of formative assessment Discussion about having students read the SC at the end of small group work and identify whether they had met the success criteria. The participants fairly spontaneously began making suggestions for ways in which they could increase their own referral to SC in the lesson, along with how to get the students to do it. Share examples of what they are trying to write and do in their math classes Pose questions to clarify their own thinking and the thinking of others. Quote – from summary of one learning group session Why – share ideas , take risks in front of their peers feel more support to move their learning forward Peer reflections

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**FACETS: Reflective Practice**

Lesson Development Online Teachers created a Formative Assessment Plan for one lesson Teachers implemented the lesson Teachers reflected on the lesson (See blank template in your packet – pg. 4/5) (See completed template in your packet – pg. 6/7) Blogs serve different purposes Communication between LG sessions Develop FA plans Blank is the template (next 2 slides) – focus on reflect on the lesson Completed template is from one teacher’s FA plan

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**Defining the Learning:**

Planning Defining the Learning: What is to be learned (LI)? How will students show they have learned this (SC)? 2. Working towards the learning: How will the lesson's activities help build a shared understanding of the SC? How will student communicate their thinking during the learning tasks? What are potential barriers or sticking points? Where will you get evidence whether these barriers or sticking points are an issue for any students? At what key points during the lesson might you give formative feedback? 3. Gauging Success: At what key points during the lesson should you refer to the SC? When will evidence be collected? What type of evidence will be collected? How will students gauge their own success? Assist teachers in a way to think about a lesson where FA is embedded Stress that the activities/tasks are aligned with what is to be learned. Edutainment – fund activity for what purpose (focus of the PD)

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**4. Implementing the Lesson:**

Reflection 4. Implementing the Lesson: What do you see as the high points and low points of the lesson, in terms of your and your students' use of FA? Do you have an example of formative feedback to share, given by you or by one of your students? Do you have an example to share of student ownership and involvement? 5. Determining Next Steps: To what extent were each of the SC met? What trends are evident? What are your next steps? Reflect back on the implementation #5 based on the development of lesson Glance at completed form and focus on the reflection part #4

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**Formative Assessment as a Process for Reflection**

Activity You will: Discuss a question prompt by table group Record ideas generated from your discussion Share at least one idea with the whole group Engage in the reflective practice

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**Activity: Table Discussion**

Question: What makes it hard for math teachers to reflect on their practice? Assign a scribe at your table At your table share your thoughts in response to the question. The scribe will compile ideas generated by the table group and share out at least 1 idea. Share as whole group Scribe it

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**Thank you for participating in today’s workshop**

For more information about the FACETS project contact: Fred Gross Education Development Center, Inc.

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