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Holistic Assessment in Early Math

To design holistic assessment for early math, it’s crucial to grasp its essence and application in educational contexts. This article explores the concept of holistic assessment, its alignment with early math education, and the types of knowledge it evaluates. 

Let’s start with an understanding about how holistic assessment works in early math.


Holistic Assessment in Early Math. What Is it?

Holistic Assessment in Early Math. What Is it?

The concept of holistic assessment in early numeracy involves evaluating a child’s mathematical understanding in a comprehensive manner that goes beyond traditional assessments. 

This approach recognizes that numeracy encompasses a wide range of skills and concepts, including number sense, counting, measurement, spatial awareness, and problem-solving abilities. 

Holistic assessment aims to capture the full breadth of a child’s numeracy development by considering multiple sources of evidence and a variety of assessment methods.

Holistic Assessment in early math will consider all of the following:

Observation: Teachers observe children during play, structured activities, and daily routines to gather insights into their mathematical thinking and understanding.

Child-Centered Assessments: Children are asked to complete specific tasks or engage in activities that demonstrate their numeracy skills in a practical context. These assessments are often game-based and interactive but can also involve the use of manipulatives.

Portfolios: A collection of work that provides a comprehensive view of a child’s progress over time. Portfolios can include samples of children’s work, photographs of activities, and teacher notes, offering a detailed picture of their numeracy development.

Conversations and Interviews: Engaging children in discussions about numbers, patterns, and problem-solving can provide valuable insights into their thinking processes and understanding.

Self-assessment and Reflection: Encouraging children to reflect on their own learning and to assess their work can support their metacognitive skills and numeracy development.

Drawing Insights from Multiple Sources: Surveying parents, teachers and the community as well to gain a proper understanding of the child’s learning environment and circumstances.

The holistic approach values the process of learning as much as the outcomes, emphasizing growth and understanding over rote memorization or the ability to perform well on a standardized test or diagnostic. 

It considers the child’s learning environment, interactions, emotional well-being, and cultural background, recognizing these elements as integral to their numeracy development. 

Holistic assessment aims to provide a well-rounded, accurate picture of a child’s abilities and potential areas for growth, informing teaching strategies and supporting individualized learning.


How are Math Processes Different From Math Skills in The Early Years? 

How are Math Processes Different From Math Skills in The Early Years?

In the early years of education, distinguishing between math processes and math skills is crucial for developing a comprehensive mathematics curriculum that addresses all facets of a child’s learning and development. 

Both elements play a significant role in the foundational understanding of mathematics, but they cater to different aspects of learning.


Math Skills

Math skills refer to the understanding of mathematical principles and ideas. These are the “what” of mathematics—the knowledge pieces that students need to grasp. Examples of math concepts in the early years include:


Number Sense: Understanding numbers, their values, and how they relate to one another.

Shape Recognition: Knowing different shapes and their properties.

Measurement: Understanding concepts of length, weight, volume, and time.

Patterns and Sequencing: Identifying and creating patterns; understanding order and sequences.


Math concepts provide the foundational knowledge that students build upon as they progress in their mathematical learning. 

They are the building blocks for more complex mathematical reasoning and problem-solving in later years.


Math Processes

Math processes, on the other hand, refer to the methods and approaches used to solve mathematical problems. These are the “how” of mathematics—the skills and strategies that students employ to work with mathematical concepts. Examples of math processes in the early years include:


Problem Solving: The ability to think through a problem, understand it, and find a solution.

Reasoning: The process of making logical connections between ideas, developing arguments, and making predictions.

Communication: Using language, symbols, and diagrams to express mathematical ideas clearly and to understand others’ mathematical thinking.

Connecting: Relating mathematical ideas to one another and to real-life situations.


Math processes are critical for applying math concepts in various contexts. 

They involve higher-order thinking skills that enable students to use their mathematical knowledge effectively and flexibly.


Why Do Both Need to Be Measured?

Measuring both math skills and math processes is essential for a holistic approach to assessing math in the early years. Here’s why:


Complementary Development: Ensuring that students are developing both their conceptual understanding and their process skills is crucial. A focus on one to the exclusion of the other can lead to gaps in knowledge or ability. Process skills and conceptual understanding complement each other. Strengthening process skills supports skill development, fostering comprehensive mathematical growth.

Informing Instruction: Assessment of both skills and processes provide teachers with valuable information on how best to support each student’s learning, tailoring instruction to address learning challenges and build on learning strengths.

Building Foundations: Early math learning sets the foundation for future mathematical understanding. A strong grasp of both skills and processes are necessary for students to succeed in more advanced mathematics.

In summary, math skills and processes cater to different yet complementary aspects of mathematical understanding. 

Both are vital for a well-rounded math education that not only builds knowledge but also equips students with the skills to apply this knowledge effectively. 

Measuring both skills and processes allows educators to provide targeted instruction that supports comprehensive math development.


What Is It About Holistic Assessment That Allows It to Assess Math Processes So Well?

What Is It About Holistic Assessment That Allows It to Assess Math Processes So Well?

Holistic assessment measures math processes effectively because it considers various aspects of students’ mathematical thinking, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and connections between mathematical concepts. 

By combining student-driven, game-based assessments with observational assessments by educators and input from caregivers, a holistic and comprehensive picture of students’ experiences and knowledge of early mathematics is created. 

This multifaceted approach allows for a deeper understanding of students’ mathematical abilities, preferences, and learning needs, empowering educators to provide targeted instruction and support that nurtures mathematical proficiency and confidence in students.


Student-Driven, Game-Based Assessments:

Game-based assessments captivate students’ interest and motivation, encouraging active participation and enthusiasm for mathematical learning.

Immediate feedback provided in game-based assessments allows students to monitor their progress, identify areas for improvement, and adjust their strategies accordingly.

These game-based assessments can be tailored to students’ individual needs and learning styles, providing personalized learning experiences that cater to diverse learners.


Observational Assessments by Educators:

Insight into Student Thinking: Educators can gain valuable insights into students’ mathematical thinking and problem-solving approaches through observational assessments, allowing them to identify misconceptions and provide targeted support.

Formative assessments provide ongoing opportunities for educators to monitor student progress, make instructional adjustments in real-time, and scaffold learning experiences as needed.


Input by Caregivers:

Caregivers provide valuable contextual understanding on students’ experiences, opportunities and knowledge of early mathematics outside the classroom, enriching educators’ understanding of students’ backgrounds and learning contexts.

Collaboration between caregivers and educators promotes a shared understanding of students’ strengths, challenges, and learning goals, fostering a supportive learning environment both at home and in school.


Applying Holistic Assessments in Early Math

Applying Holistic Assessments in Early Math

Holistic assessments are an integral part of modern early learning, especially so in math, as demonstrated in this article. Math processes especially, lend themselves very well to be assessed holistically, which is also shown in this article.

Effective tools with student-driven game-based assessments, teacher-driven observational assessments, and input from various stakeholders integrated into a single platform can significantly enhance the assessment process in early math. 

Sprig Learning attended the esteemed National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference earlier this year, known as the premier math education event, to present on the topic “A Holistic Approach to Assessing Mathematical Processes in the Early Years”

“Sharing the importance of a holistic approach to assessment and learning in early math and its practical application for classrooms is important to us,” says Jarrett Laughlin, CEO of Sprig Learning. He further adds, “ It’s about creating a comprehensive understanding of students’ mathematical abilities, which guides their growth and development”. 

With expertise in holistic assessments and a deep understanding of their application in early math education, consider reaching out to the Sprig Math team for invaluable guidance on implementing holistic assessment practices in early math settings.

Best Early Literacy Activities for Teaching Foundational Reading Skills

Educators today are constantly seeking evidence-based activities that enhance student learning. But what distinguishes these activities, and how can they be effectively implemented in the classroom?

This article addresses these inquiries by elucidating the core practices that form the foundation of evidence-based literacy activities. It then explores their practical application in educational settings. 

Delving into three fundamental reading skill sets, it introduces and delineates evidence-based early literacy activities tailored to each skill. 

Whether you’re a seasoned educator or embarking on your teaching journey, this article advocates for the efficacy of evidence-based early literacy activities, whether through play-based learning or just explicit instruction in the classroom.


Evidence-based Early Literacy Activities. What Practices Are Used to Do them? 

Evidence-based Early Literacy Activities. What Practices Are Used to Do them?

Any teaching practice consists of many things that has to be done in the classroom, such as instructing, assessing, creating centers, etc.

The word activity can mean many different things. In the context of teaching early literacy, activities refer to teacher-designed and/or teacher-facilitated tasks aimed at student learning.

There are such activities in early literacy that are evidence-based. They have been validated to work using personal experience of teachers and research data from studies.

All of such activities involve one or more of these five early literacy practices: reading, writing,singing, talking and playing. 

These are the five broad categories of practices that lead to early literacy development. All evidence-based early literacy activities can be classified under one or more of these categories. 


How Should Literacy Activities be Used in The Classroom? Properties That Define Their Usage.

How Should Literacy Activities be Used in The Classroom? Properties That Define Their Usage.

While the five major types of literacy practices cover a lot of ground, in order for them to translate to student success, it’s good if they are specific and have a purpose.

Early literacy activities have these two properties– specificity and purpose.

Literacy activities should match the skills that are being taught in the classroom. 

So it begins with understanding what the foundational reading skill sets are in early literacy. 

Once these skill sets are identified, there are specific activities that have been used by educators which can be used to teach these skills. 

These activities are also backed by research, which is why so many teachers have adopted them in the classrooms. 

More on this in the next section, where it is stated what these activities entail (specificity), and which foundational reading skill sets they apply to. (purpose)


Evidence For The Most Effective Literacy Activity For Foundational Reading Skill Sets

Evidence For The Most Effective Literacy Activity For Foundational Reading Skill Sets.


Alongside using activities in the classroom for teaching purposes, the research consensus on evidence-based teaching recommends explicit instruction on the foundational skill sets. 

This means, providing a clear understanding of the concept being taught, and what role it plays in the reading development.

Once this explicit instruction has been provided, it can be demonstrated or reinforced through  many activities. 

But what are the most effective activities for each foundational reading skill set? Not all activities are created equal. 

Outlined below are three fundamental reading skill sets, each accompanied by research-backed activities that have been proven to be effective. 

For early literacy teachers eager to initiate classroom activities targeting the different foundational reading skill sets, these are for you!



Letter-Sound Matching: Letter-sound correspondence should be taught at the same time. It is an essential skill in both reading and writing. Knowing the letter sounds is crucial for developing decoding skills. 

After explicitly teaching students the sounds of letters with their proper pronunciations, we can supplement this learning with pairing letters with their corresponding sounds. 

Teachers can engage students in play-based activities to solidify their phonics knowledge. 

1. Kinetic Learning (in small groups): Set up letter flashcards or letter tiles on the ground. After saying the sound, have students walk, hop, or jump to that letter. This activity could also be done with throwing a ball at a letter after saying the sound. 

2. Involve familiar objects: Set up a table with the letter sounds that you are working on and have students sort familiar objects and toys based on the first letter of the word. If working with a small group or with a student 1-on-1, involve a toy that they know –      a Spiderman to teach ‘s’ and a toy car to teach ‘c’. 

3. Create the sound with different media: After saying the sound, have students create the letter with pencil, coloured marker, string, playdoh, trace in sand, or with sticks. 

4. Scavenger hunt: Create a scavenger hunt to search for objects that start with certain sounds. 

Through consistent practice, students reinforce their understanding of letter-sound associations, laying a solid foundation for proficient reading.


Phonological Awareness

Word Ladders (or Word Chains): An effective tool for teaching phonemic awareness skills such as segmenting, isolating and manipulating. The best way to start is by changing the same phoneme throughout the activity. 

Have students start by spelling the first word in the ladder; Show me “get”. Followed by “change a sound to make ‘bet’”, change a sound to make ‘met’”. If students are not quite ready to write each letter they can use letter tiles to manipulate the words. 

Breaking words into individual phonemes or sounds is a highly effective exercise for teaching phonological awareness. Students learn to isolate and identify the individual sounds in spoken words.

Teachers can engage students in interactive and playful exercises where they segment spoken words into individual phonemes. 

For example, the teacher could say a word aloud (e.g., “cat”) and students would use manipulatives or sound boxes to represent each sound they hear (/k/ – /ă/ – /t/). This helps students develop their ability to isolate and identify individual sounds within words. 



Predictions: Encouraging students to make educated guesses about what might happen next in a reading based on their understanding of the informational content, is a proven exercise for teaching reading comprehension.

This exercise prompts students to actively engage with the text, consider the characters, plot, setting, and other relevant details, and use their background knowledge and textual clues to make logical predictions.

Research indicates that prediction activities enhance comprehension by promoting critical thinking, inference-making, and active engagement with the text, thereby improving students’ ability to comprehend and interpret written material. Students are taught to actively engage with the text through predicting, questioning, clarifying, and summarizing. 

An activity to introduce students to predicting at the beginning of any unit or reading starts with making a list of keywords, characters, quotes, settings. 

Each student is provided with one item from this list. They then pair up with a ‘Prediction Pal’ and based on the items they have, they make a prediction about what they are going to learn about. 

Students then pair up with somebody else and make another prediction based on their items and the clues they had from their previous ‘Prediction Pal’. Pairings can be done 4 or 5 times before making a final prediction as a class. 


Need for Play-based Learning Alongside Evidence-based Learning. Possible Through Activities

How Should Literacy Activities be Used in The Classroom? Properties That Define Their Usage.

One amazing thing about activities is that they help to balance the rigorous nature of explicit instruction that is found within evidence-based early literacy. 

Despite instruction being direct, explicit and systematic, it is also made fun through the use of activities in play-based learning.

Guided play-based learning leads to success in early literacy for students. Multi-sensory activities, in particular, provide a rich and immersive experience. By incorporating elements of play through multi-sensory activities, educators can create dynamic learning environments where students actively participate and construct their understanding of literacy concepts. 

Oral and written instruction through worksheets and texts are great. But when instruction is also provided via multi-sensory activities, which involves not just sight, but other senses as well such as noise and tactile experience, it makes the learning process all the more powerful.


What About Other Skills and Other Activities?

What About Other Skills and Other Activities?

Play-based learning is vast, and it is definitely not limited to the activities mentioned in this article. There are other activities with supporting evidence that establish them as drivers of foundational reading skills. 

Determining the best activity for teaching each of the foundational reading skills to K-3 students can vary depending on factors such as student needs, learning styles, and instructional context.

With that in mind, one evidence-based activity each was selected in this article for the three foundational reading skill sets. 

However, it’s essential to note that other foundational reading skills also have corresponding evidence-based activities for teaching them.

If an activity is backed by evidence as an effective tool for teaching a specific foundational reading skill set, teachers should prioritize its use in the classroom. 

More such evidence-based activities aligned to the foundational reading skill sets are provided in Sprig Reading. 

Try it today to witness it firsthand.


Sprig Learning Apps are a Part of Apple’s Education Partner Program

Sprig Learning, a leading developer of evidence-based early learning resources and assessments is happy to announce its inclusion in Apple’s prestigious Education Partner Program.

The Sprig team was recently invited to Apple Playground at the Reading for the Love of It 2024. It was an opportunity for all participants to explore the innovative possibilities of Apple technology in education.

The event buzzed with energy as educators from diverse backgrounds engaged with Apple’s cutting-edge technology, particularly iPad, exploring its potential to enhance learning experiences for K-6 students. It was thrilling to witness firsthand how teachers are leveraging iPad capabilities to craft dynamic content and design immersive learning journeys.

Jarrett Laughlin, CEO of Sprig Learning says, “As a part of the Education Partner Program, we are committed to empowering educators and communities worldwide. Together with Apple, we strive to level the playing field for every child, fostering success through engaging and evidence-based educational experiences.”

With schools globally harnessing Apple technology to revolutionize learning, Sprig Learning is honoured to contribute to this transformative journey. 

The partnership underscores a shared dedication to equipping educators with tools that drive student success and promote inclusive learning environments.


What is the Education Partner Program (K-12)?

What is the Education Partner Program (K-12)?

Apple’s dedication to education shines through its motto, “Inspiring Every Kind of Mind,” prominently featured on its dedicated education page

This ethos, shared jointly by Sprig Learning, emphasizes the belief that each individual possesses unique learning styles and creative expressions. 

By leveraging Apple technology and resources, educators and students of all backgrounds are empowered to explore, create, and chart their paths to success.

Apple’s Education Partner Program showcases apps compatible with Apple’s tablets, laptops, and smartphones. 

In the classroom, the journey towards a better world begins with versatile, user-friendly tools prioritizing privacy, accessibility, and sustainability. Apple’s products and resources are meticulously crafted to foster personalized, creative, and inspiring learning experiences.


Collections of Apps In Apple’s Education Partner Program

There are two collections of apps in Apple’s Education Partner Program, the K-12 collection and the Higher Education collection. 

The categories in its K-12 collection are Accessibility, Foundational Literacies, Educator Capacity and Assessment, Workflow, College and Career Readiness, Coding for Early Learners and Social and Emotional Learning.


Categories Featuring Sprig Apps

Categories Featuring Sprig Apps

Sprig Language and Sprig Math are featured in the Foundational Literacies category. 

Sprig Math is additionally featured in the Educator Capacity and Assessment category. 

This recognition highlights Sprig Learning’s dedication to enhancing foundational literacy skills in both language and math, while empowering educators with robust assessment capabilities.


The Intuitiveness of Using Sprig Apps on Apple Products

The Intuitiveness of Using Sprig Apps on Apple Products

The iPad is very versatile. Its lightweight design and long-lasting battery life ensure uninterrupted connectivity throughout the day, empowering teachers to instruct, assess, and collaborate wherever they go. 

Meanwhile, Mac’s intuitive interface simplifies navigation and empowers educators to manage their classrooms with confidence and ease. 

With robust security measures in place, both devices prioritize the protection of student data, ensuring a safe and secure learning experience at every turn. 


What This Means for Sprig Learning

Sprig LanguageSprig MathSprig Library

Sprig Learning celebrates its inclusion in Apple’s Education Partner K-12 program. As classrooms embrace technology like never before, the synergy between hardware and software empowers educators to enhance instruction and assessment for early literacy effectively. 

Sprig Reading is being developed as an iOS app for Fall 2024, joining Sprig Language, Sprig Math, and other apps that are a part of the app store. The aspiration is for all our apps to become part of the Education Partner Program.

This ensures visibility and accessibility for teachers seeking evidence-based early literacy solutions that seamlessly integrate with Apple devices, fostering efficient and secure learning environments for all students.

Designing Toolkits for Revitalizing Indigenous Languages

In the quest to revitalize Indigenous languages, educational toolkits can play a pivotal role, not only in educating but also in preserving and promoting linguistic diversity. 

Among these efforts, the “It’s Our Time: The AFN Educational Toolkit” stands out as a beacon of innovation and collaboration between the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Apple Canada. 

This toolkit not only enriches educational content but also contributes to the broader goal of language revitalization among First Nations communities.


The Origin of the Toolkit: Need for New Perspectives To Foster a Spirit of Understanding 

The Origin of the Toolkit- Need for New Perspectives To Foster a Spirit of Understanding

In response to the challenges faced by educators and students in accessing reliable resources on culture and history, the AFN and Apple Canada began working together on an ongoing project aimed at providing digital resources on First Nations history. 

Renee St. Germain, Director of Languages and Learning at the AFN, says “Teachers and students struggle for reliable resources around culture and history.” There is a need for new perspectives to be integrated into the educational system, which foster a spirit of understanding.

To this end, she is collaborating with Apple Canada on an ongoing project to offer digital resources on First Nations history. The outcome is an online and downloadable toolkit called “It’s Our Time: The AFN Education Toolkit,” offering hands-on educational materials on First Nations’ rights, culture, and history. 


The Purpose of AFN’s It’s Our Time Education Toolkit

The Purpose of AFN’s It’s Our Time Education Toolkit

This free toolkit includes interactive Apple Books designed to assist both Indigenous and non-Indigenous educators in integrating new perspectives into their classrooms, promoting cooperation, understanding, and action.

Available on Apple Books and web browsers, the toolkit features 22 learning modules. They have been “designed to enhance the understanding of important First Nations topics to ensure both students and teachers are learning in and out of the classroom.


Humbled To Play a Role in Supporting Language Revitalization

Humbled To Play a Role in Supporting Language Revitalization

Educators can now effectively incorporate First Nations content into their curricula, fostering increased dialogue surrounding this history.

Renee stresses the toolkit’s Indigenous leadership by saying :“Equity is at the forefront of everything the AFN does, and the toolkit is First Nations–led.”

She further emphasizes the significance of accurately representing First Nations students, noting their presence in nearly every classroom. 

As systemic change gains momentum across Canada, the toolkit is further advancing efforts to ensure educational equity for First Nations students and generations to come.

Sprig Learning is humbled to be a part of this important work, supporting the design of the Apple Books and modules. 


Ongoing Efforts in Supporting Language Revitalization

There is more work to be done in developing further resources and supporting language revitalization. Renee is continuing her work with public school boards across Canada to broaden the toolkit’s outreach. 

Recognizing the diversity among First Nations people, Apple Canada and the AFN are collaborating with First Nations education leaders to create language and region-specific modules of the toolkit. 

The idea is that these specific modules will authentically reflect the diverse traditions, languages, and cultures within each respective region.

How to Improve Formative Assessments for Early Literacy?

So much has already been said and written about the practice of formative assessments. 

Let’s get reacquainted with its definition,characteristics, function in early literacy, and value, before exploring what can be done to improve them.


Definition, Function and Value

Definition, Function and Value

Formative assessments have been best defined in prior Sprig articles as assessments that monitor early learning to provide ongoing feedback.  Early literacy educators use them to adapt instruction and ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed. 

Its regular frequency sets it apart from other more standardized forms of assessments. In “Holistic Formative Assessments. The New Wave”, it was stated that formative assessments happen regularly in classrooms where a student’s progress is evaluated on a daily or weekly basis.

In “What You Should Know about Assessments in Early Childhood Education”, the regularity of formative assessments is further established as they deal with the day-to-day learning process as it unfolds. They are ongoing in nature and are integrated into the daily teaching practices. 

Examples cited include homework assignments, in-class activities and group work. In the same article, it is mentioned how formal formative assessments use well-defined grade rubrics, while informal assessments use methods such as observations, notes, etc. 

The function of formative assessments in early literacy is clearly stated inWhy Small Group Instruction is Needed For Assessments in Early Literacy”. These assessments help educators diagnose specific foundational skills and monitor the progress of each early learner in the classroom. They offer valuable insights into a child’s learning skills, abilities and challenges.

In “Traditional Early Years Assessments vs Holistic Assessments”, the value of formative assessments is highlighted. For example, how educators who consistently use formative assessment strategies double the speed of learning for their students.

Exploring the science and art of formative assessments is a vast and intriguing subject. It’s highly recommended to check out the referenced articles to gain a deeper understanding of formative assessments.

To answer the question, how formative assessments can be improved in the classroom, two approaches may be taken. 1) Understanding its Core Essence. 2) Understanding its Core Types.


 1) Core Essence of Formative Assessments

By tapping into what formative assessments actually are, it’s possible to further improve existing formative assessment practices in early literacy. It’s important to differentiate formative assessments from summative assessments and universal screeners.


How Are Formative Assessments Different from Summative Assessments and Universal Screeners?

How Are Formative Assessments Different from Summative Assessments and Universal Screeners

Summative assessments refer to standardized tests, which are also known as outcome evaluators. These assessments usually occur at the end of the year and are fixed.

Summative assessments are “of learning”, while formative assessments are “for learning”. 

Besides formative assessments, there is another category of assessments that is “for learning”, which is universal screeners. 

While universal screeners share similar characteristics with summative assessments in that they are also fixed in when they happen, these assessments are for measuring students’ proficiency in specific skills.  It is predominantly used to identify students that may be at risk for learning difficulties. In many ways, they are closer to formative assessments.

But formative assessments are still unique, because unlike universal screeners which are scheduled ahead of time, and happen a fixed number of times a year, formative assessments are ongoing and continuous, and can be expected to take place regularly throughout the school year.

Thus, consistency in regularity is key to improving formative assessments. Establishing this regularity is essential for achieving best-in-class formative assessment practices. 

When assessments are conducted infrequently, distinguishing them from universal screeners becomes challenging. Therefore, maintaining a consistent schedule of formative assessments is essential for their improvement.

Furthermore, in order to improve, formative assessments must find ways to better incorporate a differentiated instruction mechanism.  Without this feature, assessments risk being overly generalized, resembling summative assessments too closely. 

To maintain their formative nature, assessments should account for the diverse learning needs of students, integrating differentiated instruction seamlessly into the assessment process.


2) Core Types of Formative Assessments

By understanding the different types of formative assessments, it’s possible to provide specific improvements that considers the total scope of such an assessment practice. In order to do this, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what formative assessments actually entail.


What Are The Types of Formative Assessments and Their Differences?

What Are The Types of Formative Assessments and Their Differences

There are two major kinds of formative assessments, diagnostic assessments and progress monitoring assessments. They are both “assessments for learning”. Progress monitoring assessments in particular have the special distinction of being both “for learning” and “as learning”.

This is because in progress monitoring assessments, not only are teachers learning about  the students’ learning strengths and needs, but the assessment practice itself is designed to track students’ learning progress or growth across the entire school year, reflecting what skills require further assessment, practice, and/or intervention to support learning.  

Thus, in order to improve formative assessment in early literacy, it is very important to ensure that there is adequate teacher-student dialogue. The assessment is “for learning”, but there is also a scope for the assessment to be “as learning”. Such is the beauty of formative assessments.


Embracing the Essence and Diversity of Formative Assessments

Embracing the Essence and Diversity of Formative Assessments

Concluding this exploration into the realm of formative assessments in early literacy, it’s evident that these assessments play a pivotal role in shaping instructional practices and nurturing student learning journeys. 

From understanding their core essence to delineating their various types, this article has explored the nuanced landscape of formative assessments to offer suggestions on how to identify improvements  in the classroom for early literacy. 

Do you require assistance on how to be more intentional and regular with your formative assessment practice, connect it to differentiated instruction, and use it for “as learning”, alongside “for learning”?