Assessment in a differentiated classroom

Assessment at every stage of instruction can help teachers match teaching/learning plans to students’ learning needs. Carol Tomlinson and Tonya Moon explain

ARCHITECTS ARE ADVISORS in the building process, making a complex system manageable by formulating critical decisions, setting quantifiable results, and working closely with others while encouraging colleagues to employ the industry’s best practices. The role of the teacher is not dissimilar. The teacher, too, works in a complex system serving as a change agent for students. An effective teacher makes the curriculum (the “what” of teaching) accessible through appropriate instructional practices (the “how” of teaching).

What we know
● Pre-assessment and formative assessment are critical tools to design instruction that addresses varied learner needs.
● Student achievement benefits when teachers use pre-assessment and formative assessment data to plan instruction to address learner needs.
● Student investment in learning and achievement benefit when students know the learning goals and use feedback from formative assessment to achieve those goals.

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June 2011