How to Tie Interim Assessments to the Learning Cycle

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Interim, or formative, assessments have the power to bring efficiency and greater depth to every student’s learning cycle. By increasing the amount and frequency of assessment data that you consider when gauging a student’s progress, interim assessments enable you to move through the basic three stages (planning, action, and fact-finding) more frequently. And that means more progress.

Find out how to integrate formative assessments with your current learning cycle pattern below.

1. Plan

Start with goals. What do your students need to learn this year? What are your students’ strengths and weaknesses? When planning for progress, it’s imperative that you utilize a formative assessment aligned to education standards. The formative assessment results will naturally guide you through the next steps that align with your standards.

Acuity® College and Career Readiness (CCR) automatically points each student to the resources they should pursue for growth and standards alignment. Monitor this process by determining who needs to learn what and when, particularly after each subsequent interim assessment.

2. Act

As teachers work with students on their strengths and areas for improvement, keep in mind the higher-level goals of education along with the standards goals. The ultimate goal remains constant; you need to prepare students for college, careers, and for their future — not just this quarter’s formative assessments or next year’s summative exam. Relieve pressure from teachers, students, and parents by reminding them of the purpose of benchmarks, lesson-planning, and standards as they work hard toward holistic progress. Each person in a student’s life plays an important role in forming well-educated citizens.

3. Gather

A natural fit for assessments, gathering data allows you to measure teacher and student progress. When it comes to interim assessments, it’s essential that you focus on gauging progress rather than measuring performance. These assessments are designed to inform you on how to continue on the path toward the summative exam. Therefore, use the data not only to rank performance but also to re-enter the planning stage with confidence and direction.

How do you fit formative assessments into the learning cycle? What are your favorite ways to adapt teaching accordingly?

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