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Formative assessment is typically contrasted with a summative assessment. The former supports teachers and students in decision making during educational and learning processes, while the latter occurs at the end of a learning unit and determines if the content being taught was retained. (P Ainsworth 2006(Wikipedia))
Teachers are responsible for following the national curriculum, planning lessons, providing the necessary resources for the children.
A teacher’s responsibility towards the children in their care can involve the following;
A teaching assistant works alongside and in partnership with the teacher.
They are there to support the teacher, help and assist children in their education. A teaching assistant can relay back to the teacher whether they think a child may need help in developing in certain areas, and a plan can be put in place in which may require the assistance of the teaching assistant. However the teacher is the overall ‘boss’ of the class, and will advise the teaching assistant what is required for that day.
Children are assessed on a daily basis; this enables the teacher to reflect whether a lesson is working to meet the learning objectives or whether how we achieve the objective needs to be changed.
The school I am currently working in has taken the assessment a step further. They are following “The Shanghai Maths’ system. The children are not set in a particular group for maths ability but are assessed while doing the task. The children are taught a short maths lesson on the carpet, and then asked to go to a table and fill out a maths prepared paper. The teacher will then go round and mark the work and asking the child to go back to the carpet once it has been marked.
Once the children are back at the carpet, they are then told what will be the next step of the lesson. At this point this is where they are put into groups based on ability of this particular lesson. By doing this new system it enable to the teacher to assess every part of the child’s ability in Maths and where the teachers and teaching assistants can help develop. A teacher will then adapt lessons to suit individual requirements for children, and discuss with the teaching assistant how they achieve the learning objective. If the need is greater and is more specialised a learning support practitioner will give the teacher and child/children the support needed to achieve the goal at hand.
Assessment for learning is essential part of a child’s education. It can define if the fundamental educational needs are being met. Assessments affect decisions about grades, educational needs and in some cases schools funding. The assessing will also establish a child’s academic progression. A number of assessment for learning strategies can be used to help children. Teachers can gain a further understanding of the strategies needed to aide learning.
Typical characteristics of assessment for learning are;
Once a child has started to develop the understanding of being able to evaluate themselves they will understand their own strengths. If the child is able to discuss their own evaluation with a teacher they may gain a deeper understanding of their learning which may give the child confidence and motivate them. As part of the assessment for learning all teachers should emphasis to all children that it is good to “have a go” and even if the answer is wrong we can learn from this.
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