Creating Formative Assessments for a SMART Objective

                                                                                                 James Green


Developing 3 Formative Assessments Based on One SMART Objective

This objective is based on a first grade reading comprehension standard.


Retell stories including key details and demonstrate understand-

ing of their central message or lesson.

SMART objective: Through an art project students will be able to recognize that they can identify key details of a story. (The art project will be for students to draw key details of their favorite story)

I like this objective because it’s give students a chance to show off their artistic sides. Plus, I think they will have fun with this because they get a chance to do something different. Also, I like incorporating an art project into a reading comprehension activity. I think it gives students a chance to decompress a little after I am doing read-alouds and teaching students about different elements of a story.

First type of formative assessment: Before students even begin their art project I will ask the whole class a few questions to give myself a good opportunity to assess their understanding of and familiarity with stories. I will ask them what their favorite stories are. At this point I will hope to get at least a few responses. It is very possible that some students will have favorite stories in common. After I get a few responses I will ask some further questions. I’ll ask, specifically what they like about these stories. Did they learn anything after hearing these stories? Do they remember specific details from the stories? This series of questions will serve a number of purposes. First, it helps me to learn more about my students. This is always helpful. The more I know about my students the better equipped I will be to help them learn. Also, these questions help me to do a formative assessment. As I am listening carefully to the responses to these questions I will be gauging how much my students know about stories. Do they have a sense of the main idea of a story? Can they recall important elements of a story? Their responses will clue me into these aspects and help me plan out activities I will have for them. I will use Equity Sticks to call on some people at random after other students have volunteered their responses.

Second type of formative assessment: Since the activity is for the students to do an art project where they will be drawing elements of a certain story or their favorite story I will utilize the time they are actually drawing to circulate throughout the room to ask questions. As they are drawing I will ask questions like, “How is this drawing important to or how does it relate to the story?” or “Do you think what you are drawing is part of the main idea of the story?” Asking specific questions like this will give me a window into students thinking. I will begin to be able to further assess their thought process and getting a sense if they understand what key details of a story are. I will get a sense if they are just drawing something at random or if they really understand what they are drawing relates to the story.

Third type of formative assessment: For this assessment I would like to pair students. I will have the pairs of students explain their art projects to each other. I will circulate throughout the room while they do this. I like this assessment because it fosters language skills. Also, it is a deeper window into their thinking. If students can succeed at explaining their art project that will let me know they have a good understanding of knowing what key details of a story are. I will pay close attention to the interaction between the pairs. Are the pair partners communicating well? Are they able to explain their drawing to each other? Are both members of the pair interacting? I think there are lots of constructive elements to this assessment.

I like the combination of all of these assessments. They build on one another. Starting out by simply asking students about their favorite stories is a good intro for me into this art lesson. Students actually doing the art project then seeing how well they can explain it will be a great way to check for understanding.



10 Assessments You Can Perform In 90 Seconds


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