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Education Essay Example: Formative Assessment of KS2 Math Students

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Middlebury College
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Key Stage 2 is the legal term that is used to define schooling in England and Wales. It is normally Year, 2, Year 3, Year 5, and Year 6. I have been teaching this level as a math teacher. At this level, the student is introduced to higher-level maths such as Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Statistics, and of course continuing with numbers as the basic. One can decide to approach KS2 Math in summative or formative assessment. For the sake of this research, we used formative assessment. Formative assessment takes longer in affecting children progress for diverse classroom assessment hence it might have a significant effect on the conversion of data points. Besides, it is possible to identify the specific difficulties that child encounter. The formative purposes are implemented by teaching the specific lessons and units; as well extend the learning to the child himself. Furthermore, it is important for the teacher to make careful judgments concerning appropriate special arrangements for the different cases of learning.

Data scrutiny can stipulate snapshot of a general picture. The sensible, wise use of data affects the work of all practitioners involved in education, and therefore, school data are treasured. Many individuals and organizations use them for several goals and aims. For example, Ofsted as an organization, inspectors use data to form a decision about a school's effectiveness and recommends measures to make progress. Additionally, the ethos of performativity, in real terms, stands on databases, annual reviews and appraisal meetings, report writing, value assurance duty of call, the consistent periodical advertisements of results, peer and inspections appraisals. (Ball, 2013)

Furthermore, Ofsted also uses data to scrutinise pupils attendance, the frequency of sanctions and exclusions. Data about pupils and their financial conditions regarding income situations can also provide evidence about the setting in which the local authority or school is operating and the circumstances that may influence its performance (Kirkup et al 2005, p.3).

For stakeholders like parents and carers, data supports them to make essential and informed choices about their children. Subsequently, suitable and correct data can help parents, children and carers to comprehend what is happening in school and if the need arises for inquiries about its performance.

Moreover, for head teachers, teachers, and governors, the use of data is to evaluate pupils progress and to support leadership and management conclusions on professional development and performance. Schools may collect and use data about pupils' and parent's thoughts, and reports about parents grievances recorded. Schools also keep data about their workforce, premises and their finance and expenditure. (Demies 2003 and 2004).

More importantly, teachers frequently use data. The use of data makes it simpler than ever for educators to generate information to inform teaching, identify and track students' progress and differentiate learning, the beauty of continuous and frequent data gathering provides an insight into how each student is developing over time. (Rudd and Davies 2002, Demie 2004, Ofsted 2010). The figure below is a basic presentation of data frequency that can be evidenced at the KS2 level of learning. Looking closely, the data has been generated from the children response matrix.

Figure 2: KS2 Frequency Data

Furthermore, the local authorities use data to scrutinize, analyze the performance of the schools under their jurisdiction, and to propose, plan for improvement, as well as distribute resources efficiently and effectively. Besides, stakeholders that require tracking student records require formative assessments of data that are narrowed down to learning and finding what student requires. The teacher applies different instructional approaches, resources, and expectations that are useful in identifying the nature of classroom settings. Formative assessment is implemented during lessons or the delivery of specific units. Diagnostic assessments identify the specific difficulties that student encounter hence configure a program delivery package administered by specialist education (Strba, 2012). Data management is a prerequisite for the teacher to rate and report on the student mathematical performance. The student is requested to

1. Rating Mathematical Attainment

Data is useful in rating the student mathematical performance; hence have a clear report to the parent. This helps in determining the next level the student should be, as illustrated by the data point of performance. The benefits and risks are inherent in summarising the learning and the attainment of mathematics.

2. Rating Mathematical Difficulty

It is also important to determine the explicit connections in student performance. The connections can be drawn from scatter diagram, aided with statistical packages.

As one can envisage, data is precious. However, data are spreadsheets on a computer or figures, graphs or tables on a page; they can only evaluate what examined, and humans just test what they can assess. The challenge for educational practitioners, however, is to understand data viability and get grips with what is behind and investigate the strengths and limitations they signpost. Therefore, data-driven educators are required to accumulate, manage, scrutinize and report on students' progression by collecting relevant information. Two categories of assessment data that practitioners rely on for significant and meaningful knowledge; these are the formative and summative assessment. However, there have been a lot of emphasis on formative assessment, but there is lack clarity.

What is Formative Assessment?

According to Black and William (1998) formative assessment is defined as "all those activities carried by practitioners, and their students, which give information to be used as feedback to evaluate the learning and teaching activities in which they engaged."

While, Melmer and co-authors (Melmer et al., 2008) explained it to be an approach exploited in classrooms to specific recommendations for the improvements of continuous teaching and learning for the aim of enhancing student targets and accomplishments.

Meanwhile, Popham (2008), described formative assessment as scheme planned to assist student or teacher implement changes that contribute to improving ongoing teaching and learning by applying assessments-based evidence.

In USA, 2002, (NCLB, 2002) No Child Left behind the policy was introduced with numerous educational interventions to improve educational outcomes primarily for lower performing schools. An often used and advocated approach to improve student performance is the implementation of formative assessment with the purpose of enhancing the pedagogical practices of teachers, evaluating student achievements and offering streamlined instructional programme aimed particularly at assisting lower performing students.

Importance of Effective Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is a way of gathering evidence within the stream of teaching to inform learning and teaching (Black, Harrison, et al., 2004). To be quantified as a formative assessment, the proof must be "encouraged, scrutinized and used by both learners and teachers" (Wiliam, 2011). Formative assessment involves the discovery of most extraordinary plausible evidence about what students have learned, as well, therefore, using this information to inform future planning and teaching. The figure below is the major components.

Sharing Learning Intentions and Criteria for Success

The significance of sharing learning intention and success criteria is explicating engaging students in the mathematics objective of the lesson. Unpacking the mathematics learning intention provides students with a perfect concept of their ability and allows them to mirror on progress toward the target instead of meaninglessly working through a lesson (White & Fredrickson, 1998).

Giving feedback that moves students forward

It has been common knowledge for teachers for a while just ticking answers as wrong or right and awarding marks, destructively impacts student learning as in contrast of the practice of questioning students to revise their work (Bangert- Drownset al., 1991). Giving feedback related to success criteria and measurable objectives offers evidence that is actionable by the student and seemed to have positive results on student learning. Moreover, feedback that results in minimum effort or lessening goals has shown reductions in attainment (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996). Wiliam (2011) In summary, feedback works as formative assessment only if knowledge returned to the student is used by the student to improve learning.

Encouraging and engineering useful Classroom discussions

Efficient engineering of useful discussions and learning environments seem to have a substantial effect on student learning (William, 2011,). Moreover, when students are extremely involved, they are engrossed in activities, discussions, and tasks using practices, such as, wait time, think -pair -share, colds haring leaner generated explanations, and all learner response arrangements such as mini cards and mini whiteboards. These and other teaching strategies provide teachers many excellent opportunities to check for more in-depth understanding during or after a lesson, instead of waiting for quizzes, tests or homework, and criteria for evidence what sense students are making of mathematics.

Stimulating leaner, Owners of their Learning

Students must have a platform to be involved, engaged and be accountable for all areas of their learning. Implementing such strategies as self-assessment with a given custom or teacher and student co-developed custom is a way to make learning a collective shared experience.

Stimulating Learners as Resources for One Another

Many teachers have found it and through my experience asking students to peer share, analyze and review and provide feedback to a partner student's work is more comfortable than examining one's learning., Using this strategy provides a foothold to be able to evaluate own work more effectively and efficiently.

Problems with Formative Assessment

Although there is an excellent emphasis on formative assessment and expen...

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