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The Formative 5

The Formative 5
Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom

Foreword by Matt Larson

April 2017 | 200 pages | Corwin

“This highly practical and readable book gets right down into the detail of what good formative assessment looks like in math classrooms, and shows how teachers can make this a part of their regular planning and instruction.”

—Dylan Wiliam, Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment, University College

Imagine how it would feel to not worry about how to plan, teach, and check for student mathematical understandings and related proficiencies. Imagine if this important process felt like a natural, every day, part of your lesson preparation instead of an extra thing to do. This must-have resource shows the way. 

NCTM Past President, Francis “Skip” Fennell, and nationally-recognized mathematics educators Beth McCord Kobett and Jonathan (Jon) Wray, offer five of the most impactful, proven assessment techniques—Observations, Interviews, “Show Me,” Hinge Questions, and Exit Tasks— you can implement, every day. Tried and tested by teachers just like you, you’ll find that this palette of classroom-based techniques will truly assess learning and inform teaching.

Research and classroom practice indicates that formative assessment is poorly understood. This book gives you a concise, research-based, classroom-dedicated plan with lots of tools, activities, classroom vignettes, and student work to guide your daily use of these techniques – The Formative 5.

Both within and between lessons, K-8 teachers of mathematics will learn to

  • Think and go beyond assessment of learning, focusing on assessment for learning
  • Directly connect assessment to planning and teaching
  • Engineer effective classroom questioning, discussions, and learning tasks
  • Provide success criteria and feedback that moves students forward
  • Integrate the Standards for Mathematical Practice
  • Activate student self-assessors who take ownership of their learning 

Includes a book study guide, tools and templates, and a companion website with downloadables and multi-media examples of student discussion in the classroom. The Formative 5 will help you build your mathematics-related formative assessment capacity through daily use of these five key techniques, leading to regularly monitored and improved learning opportunities for your students.

Now Available: The On-Your-Feet Guide to The Formative 5

About the Authors
PART I Getting Started
Assessment Literacy: What Is It? Why Is This Important?

Formative/Summative: It’s All Testing, Right?

Formative Assessment: Assessing to Inform

Classroom-Based Formative Assessment: Why Is This Important? You Do Have the Time to Do This!

Formative Assessment in YOUR Classroom: The Classroom Is Your Canvas!

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

PART II The Formative 5
Observations: Background and Basics

Planning for Observations

Tools for Using Observations in the Classroom

Technology Tips and Tools for Recording Observations

Using Observations in YOUR Classroom

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

Interviews: Background and Basics

Planning for the Interview

Tools for Using Interviews in the Classroom

Technology Tips and Tools for Recording Interviews

Using Interviews in YOUR Classroom

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

Show Me: Background and Basics

Planning for Show Me

Tools for Using Show Me in the Classroom

Technology Tips and Tools for Recording Show Me Responses

Using Show Me in YOUR Classroom

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

Hinge Questions: Background and Basics

Planning for Using Hinge Questions

Tools for Using Hinge Questions in the Classroom

Technology Tips and Tools for Recording Hinge Questions

Using Hinge Questions in YOUR Classroom

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

Exit Tasks: Background and Basics

Planning for Using Exit Tasks

Tools for Using Exit Tasks in the Classroom

Technology Tools and Tips for Exit Tasks

Using Exit Tasks in YOUR Classroom

Summing Up

Professional Learning Discussion Questions

PART III Next Steps
Why Formative Assessment? Issues and Opportunities

Chapter 1: Observations

Chapter 2: Interviews

Chapter 3: Show Me

Chapter 4: Hinge Questions

Chapter 5: Exit Tasks

What’s Next?

Appendix: Book Study Guide

The Formative Five will not only help teachers deepen their understanding of formative assessment, but it provides them with concrete tools to implement each of the five formative assessment techniques to move students’ learning forward. Through their wealth of experiences working with teachers, students, and leaders, the authors have grounded their guidance in examples and vignettes that allow readers to ‘see’ how the techniques can be implemented in classrooms, making the book very accessible. I look forward to using it with both in-service and pre-service teachers with whom I work.”

Robert Q. Berry, III, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Curry School of Education, University of Virginia & President-Elect, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

 “A great resource for math educators! The easy to read format, practical suggestions, and ready-to-use tools give teachers what they need to engage in their own professional learning. I am also excited about the potential impact on teaching and learning for those leaders in our district who take the time to use this resource during their professional learning experiences.”

Christopher R. Horne, Ph.D., Curriculum Specialist for Elementary Mathematics
Frederick County Public Schools

“I am so excited about integrating The Formative Five into our district’s ongoing work with formative assessment.  This practitioner friendly resource provides math educators 5 ready to use formative assessment techniques complete with planning tools, examples and many other useful resources that our district’s professional learning communities will use as we continue our work in the teaching and learning of mathematics.”

Angela Waltrup, Content Specialist, Elementary Mathematics,
Washington County Public Schools, MD

The Formative 5 explains why formative assessment is the lifeblood of all good instruction and then provides practical strategies that teachers can start using tomorrow. Fennell, Kobett, and Wray have given math teachers the best sort of giftone that serves their students.

Eric Westendorf, Co-founder & CEO

The Formative 5 is easy to read and full of specific assessment strategies that can stand alone or be used in concert. The ideas outlined in this book can be used on a daily basis to inform instructional decision making. The grade level examples of each of the assessment strategies, video examples, and professional learning discussion questions are perfect for use in a pre-service teacher education program, in service professional learning environment, or school-based PLC.”

Kyndall Brown, Executive Director
California Mathematics Project, UCLA

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1 - Observations

Chapter 3 - Show Me

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

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ISBN: 9781506337500