The title teases with the idea that CFU and Formative Assessment are opposing strategies, but instead the author reminds us that CFU without follow-up is not "formative." We need to act on CFU data in a timely way to connect with student learning and provide feedback or adjust instruction. The author emphasizes that we must thoughtfully integrate CFU in the overall assessment plan to extract meaningful data that informs next instructional moves to help students learn.
Follow this educator's musings to uncover the real purpose of formative assessments by thinking beyond the "what" (technique mechanics) to think about the "why" (student learning outcomes). Whether using gestures, exit tickets, or other techniques, when you focus on why you're using them and the student learning you hope to achieve, you maximize the information and impact from formative assessment strategies.
Using student gestures is a simple way for teachers to check for understanding after explaining a concept. In this teacher-made video, a foreign language teacher explains the benefits of CFU using gestures. Discussing the broader benefits of using gestures, this teacher calls out that by removing the filter and embarrassment from responding, students are more willing to share and engage.
More video and analysis from Doug Lemov's blog, this time using "slates," or gestures in this case, to get objective answers to a CFU question. A clever in-cue signals the students to use a visually distinct gesture and the teacher skillfully uses the data (that students willingly provide) to adjust his instruction and guide his students by reteaching a concept.
Another entry from Lemov's blog, this short article presents a video of a classroom teacher successfully demonstrating CFU using gestures, preceded by in-cues. The article provides a short and helpful analysis of the teacher's and class's behaviors. Bonus - a mini video of two workshop attendees demonstrating the CFU gestures and in-cues they use in their classrooms.
From Doug Lemov's Teach Like a Champion blog, an English teacher checks for understanding using gestures and uses the data to explore and correct misunderstandings by engaging classmates in argument and analysis. This example ably demonstrates the power of thoughtfully used formative assessment techniques to help students understand the learning target, get timely feedback on their progress toward the target and give them opportunities to correct, learn and succeed.
Drs. Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey combine their expertise to help you understand the value and power of embedding on-going formative assessment in your instruction. This 200 page book is an accessible and useful guide, pairing foundational theory with many strategies you can incorporate now to put the student's learning at the center of your practice. If you really want to understand the purpose and value of formative assessment, pick up this easy read and be prepared to implement.