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Common Formative Assessments 2.0: How Teacher Teams Intentionally Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment

by Larry Ainsworth and Donald Viegut Corwin Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 304 pages
AU$69.00 NZ$73.91
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Despite significant shifts in educational policy and practice since the first edition of Common Formative Assessments, the essential process of CFA continues to have tremendous utility and effectiveness as a driver of teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Increased accountability pressures, new and more rigorous standards for college and career readiness, and a new generation of high stakes exams make CFA more timely than ever. Significant revisions to the second edition include the following:

Further emphasis on the purpose of informal, in-class assessments intentionally aligned to external, summative assessments of learning to serve as valuable “predictors” of student progress in time for educators to modify and adjust instruction to meet specific learner needs prior to students sitting for high-stakes, external exams;
Explicit connections to CCSS, SBAC, and PARCC but with clear message that CFA content and process remain applicable to all standards, all grades, all content areas;
Coordinating formative assessments with learning progressions (based on research of Margaret Heritage and W. James Popham)
Inclusion of the central role of the student in the assessment process:
Using pre-assessment results to set personal goal for improvement on post-assessment;
Self-monitoring of progress using informal assessments throughout the unit of instruction;
Student input into performance task scoring guide criteria throughout unit of study to understand performance expectations on end-of-unit constructed-response questions;
Student use of post-assessment results to reflect on what student learned, still needs to learn, written into brief plan for improvement in next unit of study
Addition of assessment research published after 2006 edition of Common Formative Assessments (e.g., Hattie, Visible Learning and Visible Learning for Teachers; Wiliam, Embedded Formative Assessment: Brookhart, Effective Feedback; Popham, Transformative Assessment; Fisher & Frey, Checking for Understanding, Margaret Heritage, Formative Assessment, etc.)

DedicationAcknowledgmentsIntroductionOrganization of the BookChapter 1 A Highway to Aligned AssessmentsChapter 2 Assessment LiteracyChapter 3 Overview of the CFA Design StepsChapter 4 Priority Standards and Learning IntentionsChapter 5 aUnwrapping,a Big Ideas, and Essential QuestionsChapter 6 Unit Learning Intentions and Student Success CriteriaChapter 7 Writing Assessment Questions in Multiple FormatsChapter 8 Scoring Guides: Detailed Success CriteriaChapter 9 Evaluating Quality of CFA QuestionsChapter 10 Learning Progressions and Quick Progress ChecksChapter 11 Collaborative Scoring and Analysis of CFA ResultsChapter 12 Success Criteria for CFA Design TeamsChapter 13 Effective Implementation of Common Formative AssessmentsChapter 14 Creating a Culture of ImprovementLexicon of TermsReferences

'Formative assessment and rsquo;s essence is its reliance on evidence-informed judgments about the need for instructional adjustments. Ainsworth relied on an analogous strategy in refining the recommendations he made in 2006 regarding common formative assessments. Based on nearly a decade and rsquo;s worth of real-world evidence obtained by watching educators implement those earlier suggestions, Ainsworth has clearly refined his thinking about group-guided formative assessment. To most of us, a designation of 2.0 represents a and ldquo;new and improved and rdquo; version of whatever and rsquo;s being described. Well, in every sense of its definitely deserved designation, this powerful book represents Common Formative Assessments 2.0.' W. James Popham and ldquo;One of the hardest tasks for teachers is to align pre- and post- classroom assessments to best measure the change or progress made between two occasions.Such assessments need to have questions anchored on a common scale (i.e., whatever is measured on each occasion should be the same construct) and anchored on a common difficulty scale.Larry Ainsworth spells out how classroom teachers can work together to create such tasks, which allows a major focus, as it should, on using progress to help monitor learning and adapt teaching. The new material in this book is critical to its value:Ainsworth introduces constructive alignment of learning objectives, standards, success criteria, classroom and larger-scale assessments, and emphasizes the quality of assessments leading to excellent diagnostic interpretations of data. He does not ask teachers to do all this alone but in a community of experts led by instructional leaders (the chapter on PLCs is worth buying the book in itself). He does all of this with the intention of maximizing our positive impact on student learning. There have been many who have written about the power of success criteria, growth and progress, and assessment for teachers, but not how to do it. Ainsworth spells it out to perfection.It seems so obvious and mdash;create the pre- and post- measures as part of the lesson planning, then make the links between pre- and post- and this is the learning progression.So why do we not do this? Because it requires a major transformation in how we think about our role and mdash;nolonger just teach and then see how well the students listened to us by creating an assessment at the end focused on what we covered. Changing this thinking is the power of this book. There are so many gems in this book. For example, Ainsworth is not talking about and lsquo;tests and rsquo; but about and lsquo;tasks, and rsquo; which opens up so many more possibilities. The sections on the qualities of measures are directed to classroom tasks, and the many varied examples based on the Common Core will make it so much more practicable for teachers using those standards to implement many of the major purposes of the nationally consistent curriculum. and rdquo; John Hattie
Larry Ainsworth is the author or coauthor of 14 published books, including: aUnwrappinga the Common Core (in 2014), Prioritizing the Common Core (2013), Rigorous Curriculum Design (2010), Common Formative Assessments (2006), aUnwrappinga the Standards (2003), Power Standards (2003), Five Easy Steps to a Balanced Math Program (2000 and 2006), Student Generated Rubrics (1998), and Getting Started with Rigorous Curriculum Design: How School Districts Are Successfully Redesigning Their Curricula for the Common Core (2013). Larry served as the Executive Director of Professional Development at The Leadership and Learning Center in Englewood, Colorado, from 1999-2013. He traveled nationally and internationally to assist school systems in implementing best practices related to standards, assessment, curriculum, and instruction across all grades and content areas. Throughout his career as a professional developer, Larry has delivered keynote addresses and breakout sessions across North America and in Latin America and regularly worked on site in school systems to assist leaders and educators in understanding and implementing powerful standards-based practices: prioritizing and aunwrappinga state standards and Common Core standards, developing common formative assessments, designing authentic performance tasks, and creating rigorous curricular units of study in all content areas, pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Drawing upon 24 years of experience as an upper elementary and middle school classroom teacher in demographically diverse schools, Larry brings a varied background and wide range of professional experiences to each of his presentations.