Using Formative Assessment to Meet the Demands of the Common Core


Regardless of your grade level, focus, or subject area, a huge challenge of implementing the Common Core State Standards is to link formative assessment with high-quality instruction that forwards deep content knowledge. One of ASCD’s upcoming professional development institutes in the “Implementing Common Core” series is specifically related to using formative assessments to meet the new standards. So, we asked ASCD Faculty member and presenter Maria Grant to share some details about how you can take what you learn at this formative assessment institute and apply it to your instruction.

Formative Assessment and the Common Core PDIBy Maria Grant

The professional development institute Using Formative Assessment to Meet the Demands of the Common Core was developed by noted researcher-educators, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. Attendees of this institute will be introduced to the components of the Gradual Release of Responsibility model of instructional practice as a framework for exemplary curriculum development and instruction.

Attendees will develop purpose statements (content, language, and social goals) tailored to meet the needs of students and teachers in their home districts. This sets the stage for focused, strategic instruction. The major tenants and the shifts of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts (ELA) and for mathematics will also be examined in anticipation of developing a personalized, standards-based plan for instruction and formative assessment.

Instructional strategies that best facilitate formative assessment will be explored within the context of various content areas. In a guided manner, participants will work collaboratively to construct a personalized formative assessment plan that fits with the curriculum in their district or at their school sites.

Participants will learn ways to incorporate assessment tasks that can truly inform instruction, such as how to link classroom formative assessment practices to instructional shifts in the Common Core State Standards for ELA and mathematics. Attendees will also design an error-analysis tool that is intended to help teachers quickly, effectively, and efficiently identify both student needs and student strengths.

Institute attendees will leave with a plan of action that will strategically move students toward deeper content processing while keeping teachers informed of student progress.

If you are interested in attending Using Formative Assessment to Meet the Demands of the Common Core, you may register for an upcoming session online.

To view all of the upcoming Common Core professional development institutes, please visit