Assessments - Formative & Summative


In my school district, we are required to give a formative assessment in Language Arts and Mathematics two weeks after the beginning of each trimester. We give the summative assessment (identical to the formative assessments) two weeks prior to the end of each trimester. Our grade levels meet following each formative assessment to analyze the strengths and weakness of the students in that grade level.  Two S.M.A.R.T. goals are created for the ELA  and one goal is created for the Mathematics (Conzemius & O’Neill, 2005).

The S.M.A.R.T. goals lead to focused interventions on the greatest weaknesses in the grade level as determined by the teachers at that grade level. Every 4 weeks, we meet and analyze the progress and adjust accordingly (Goldring & Berends, 2009). Intensives instruction is provided to students until the goal has been achieved by each class.  

The assessment leader ensures that the data being analyzed by the team is actually the data relevant to the creation of the S.M.A.R.T. goals and subsequent instructional interventions. Only the formative and summative assessments completed each trimester is utilized in creating the goals and resulting interventions.  

The formative and summative assessments are balanced because they are identical assessments given at the beginning and ending of each trimester. A comprehensive is given at the end of the school year.

In addition to the formative and summative assessment, we first grade teachers also assessment reading fluency (DRA), phonetic awareness (letters and sounds), reading of (150) high frequency words, and reading comprehension.


Conzemius, A. & O’Neill, J, (2005). The power of smart goals: Using goals to improve student learning. Madison, WI: Solution Tree,  

Goldring, E. & Berends, M. (2009). Leading with Data. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, CA. 

Hess, F. (2008). The new stupid. Educational Leadership, 66(4), 12-17.


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