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Make Prediction Your Favorite Formative Assessment Strategy

by Kathy Dyer
 | Dec 19, 2013

As part of the team who collected data for MOSAIC OF THOUGHT, I was exposed to prediction as a piece of comprehension. Since then, I have found prediction is a useful formative assessment strategy from different perspectives. First, we ask students to make predictions that connect what they already know with text or visual information. This is a form of activating themselves as learners and taking more ownership of their learning. They also have the opportunity, after completing the reading, to check their predictions and verify those that were correct and those that were off, as well as the whys for each position.

Make Prediction Your Favorite Formative Assessment StrategyThe second perspective about prediction I have been using is via an anticipatory guide (or anticipation guide). I use this at the beginning of some professional learning opportunities as a way to see what participants know or think they know (their perspectives or misunderstandings) regarding the topics we’ll be learning about during the session. Then at the end of the learning we check in to see if ideas and knowledge have changed as a result of the learning. 

This strategy activates prior knowledge and helps build curiosity. Participants predict what might be true or false about the content we are about to learn. When used with students in reading, this strategy allows the teacher to engage all students, challenge or support their preconceived ideas, and help set the purpose for reading. As a formative assessment strategy, I check in on what they know and identify potential misconceptions before we get started, and then again at the end.

Here’s an example:

Before Statement After
True/False Formative assessment is a series of tests that help teachers and students make decisions about learning and instruction. True/False
True/False The use of formative assessment is research-based. True/False
True/False Teacher Learning Community is another name for Professional Learning Community. True/False

 

Think about all the settings in your life where you make predictions—the weather, a book, a movie, traffic. It is more than just figuring out what will come next. It is an activity that engages us, pushes us to think about what we already know and connect to it, ask questions, and infer. When we get activated as learners, we get more focused on our learning goals. More focus on goals leads to more meaningful learning…at least based on the research, that’s my prediction.

Kathy Dyer is a Senior Curriculum Specialist for NWEA, designing and developing learning opportunities for educators, and a regular blogger for the organization’s Teach Learn Grow blog. Formerly a Professional Development Consultant for NWEA, she coached educators and provided professional development focused on assessment, data, and leadership. NWEA partners with educational organizations worldwide to provide computer-based assessment suites, professional development and research services. Learn more at NWEA.org.

© 2013 Kathy Dyer. Please do not reproduce in any form, electronic or otherwise.

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