Why You Should Keep a Formative Assessment Journal for every lesson - #smallBIGidea 12

Sep 10, 2021 9:00:00 AM | Why You Should Keep a Formative Assessment Journal for every lesson - #smallBIGidea 12

Formative assessment aids “assessment for learning”. Here's an easy to practice this in your classroom, every day. Read on to know more.


The Latin meaning of the word “Assess” is “to sit beside”. That is precisely the difference between ‘assessing’ and mere ‘testing’. When the assessment happens ‘FOR’ learning, it becomes ameans of determining where (in their understanding) the children are, where they need to go, and how best to get there. This is the essence of “Formative Assessment”. It is used for monitoring, diagnosing and forming (what to do).

Formative Assessment in a Nutshell:
Formative assessment aids “assessment for learning”. This focuses on teachers assessing individual child’s progress and determining next steps in advancing that child’s learning. This happens throughout the learning process and the child is not under the pressure of being tested. The evidence of understanding is gathered through out the learning process.

Presenting...#smallBIGidea - 12

Keep a simple Formative Assessment Journal for every lesson for every class

1 Plan your lesson in advance.
2 Select 4-6 children that you will be observing during a particular period
3 Conduct the lesson keeping in mind the learning outcome/indicators of achievement for that particular topic in the lesson.
4 Observe their work, ask them open-ended questions, clarify their understanding
5 Record your observations in the Formative Assessment Sheet
6 Understand reason for non-understanding – Is it you or the student?
7 Provide feedback to student OR reteach the concept
8 Move on to next activity/chunk in the lesson

A sample of the “Formative Assessment Sheet” is given in the next page.


Pedagogic “Why” for this #SmallBIGidea:

In his paper Inside the Black Box, researcher Paul Black states that if the ‘assessment for learning’ is implemented effectively, it raises standards of achievement across all children. When children are given better quality support and feedback and are encouraged and empowered to take more responsibility, they learn more effectively.

Lesson Name                :
Activity/Sub-topic         :
Learning Outcome       :
Indicators of outcome
achievement                 :



Student Name Outcome Achieved

If No, does the student need additional help

(re-teach the concept)


Supporting Research Articles:
• Black, P. &. (1998). Inside the Black Box: Raising standards through classroom assessment. London: King’s College

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Written By: Sunitha Anupkumar