Guideline: Formative assessment is the "checking" part of the learning process. It enables teachers to determine how well students are grasping the concept or lesson and informs changes teachers may make to their teaching methods. It also shows students how well they are doing or where they need improvement. It is important for teachers to comprehend formative assessment within this context.
This link to the North Carolina Office of Public Instruction website provides examples of how to use formative assessment.
This article from The Council Chronicle, published by the National Council of Teachers of English, emphasizes the feedback loop between the teacher and student and gives examples of formative assessments being used in the classroom.
Developed with funding from The Meadows Foundation and the Texas Education Agency, Effective Instruction for Middle School Students with Reading Difficulties: The Reading Teacher's Sourcebook offers middle school reading teachers an overview of research-based instructional approaches for teaching struggling readers. Chapter Two: Selecting and Administering Assessments reviews how different assessment tools can be used in the classroom.
This ASCD article by Stephen Chappuis and Jan Chappuis reviews how to use formative assessment.
This resource summarizes Chapter 1: Why Change Classroom Assessment from Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind. Developed by Dr. Lorna Earl and Dr. Steven Katz in collaboration with the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Education, it "is intended to support teachers in assessing their students effectively, efficiently, and fairly, and to serve as a basis for professional learning." Chapter 1 provides a series of questions for teachers to consider when developing classroom assessments. Chapter 1 makes the case for how classroom assessment can be used to improve student learning and motivation.
Purpose: Assessments used in the classroom can be designed locally by teachers or selected from any number of commercial or other professional sources. Regardless of an assessment's origin, teachers must first plan what they intend to accomplish with the assessment. Upon doing so, they can determine whether a pre-existing or new assessment will best meet their needs.
Purpose: Administering assessments includes conducting and scoring. Conducting the assessment addresses the when, where, and how of doing so. Scoring the assessment focuses on the scoring rubric, determining individual scores, and analyzing the results. Both are essential parts of administering the assessment.
Purpose: When used properly, assessment results enhance instruction. It is incumbent upon teachers to understand, know how to interpret, and explain the results effectively to their students, parents, and other district and school staff members.
Purpose: Good assessments provide the basis for making adjustments in instruction as well as future assessments. Assessment results show teachers where changes need to be made in instructional approaches for groups of students or individual students. The assessment outcomes also show students what they need to do to improve their learning. Changes to instruction based on assessment results complete the learning cycle.