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How can you be sure that your students are learning as you teach? Formative assessment (checking for student understanding) is a powerful approach that allows you and your students to collaboratively gather evidence of student learning in order to improve learning. This session will engage participants in an exploration of strategies to improve formative assessment in the ELA classroom. 


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • ELA teachers and tutors, including those in Corrections

Formative assessment is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Because it occurs while the learning is taking place rather than at the end of an instructional unit, it is viewed as assessment FOR learning, rather than assessment OF learning. Formative assessment truly drives instruction if teachers conduct while students are practicing the skills.

Current research on the use of formative assessment to enhance students' reading comprehension and writing indicates that these skills improve when...

  • teachers and peers provide students with feedback about the effectiveness of their reading comprehension and their writing.
  • students are taught to evaluate the effectiveness of their own reading and writing.
  • teachers monitor students' progress on an ongoing basis.

As part of this training, participants will use two of the strategies for conducting formative assessment and will post reactions to and experiences with using the strategies (successes, challenges, etc.) to an online discussion board.

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Define formative assessment and its benefits for classroom instruction
  • Describe strategies for checking for student understanding, with emphasis on student reading comprehension and writing
  • Identify strategies for using rubrics both for student self-review of their writing as well as for peer review
  • List elements of effective teacher feedback
  • Set a goal for using two formative assessment strategies in your classes
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 


  • Recommended: View this 19-minute video introducing the CCRSAE for ELA
  • Recommended: Complete the 3-hour online course: The Recipe for Success: The CCR Standards and Instructional Shifts for ELA.
05/17/2019 - 9:00am to 3:30pm
North Shore Community College Adult Learning Center, Math & Science Building, room 106B
1 Ferncroft Rd.
Danvers, MA 01923
PD Center: 


SABES English Language Arts Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
Corrections Education
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