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Unlocking Formative Assessment


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Table of Contents

Planning; sharing learning intentions; pupil self-evaluation; feedback; target setting; questioning; monitoring; raising children's self-esteem; using this book to make a difference.

Promotional Information

Unlock the power and potential of formative assessment! Down to earth, 'hands-on' and direct, with numerous examples, this book gives practical strategies for implementing formative assessment in your own classroom .

About the Author

Shirley Clarke is lecturer in assessment and curriculum at the Institute of Education, University of London, and author of the hugely popular "Targeting Assessment in the Primary Classroom". An experienced primary teacher and advisory teacher, and a popular speaker, she runs numerous local and regional training courses on classroom assessment. She is also a regular contributor to the Times Educational Supplement. Shirley's books with H&S Educational include "Unlocking Formative Assessment" (2001), "Targeting Assessment in the Primary Classroom" (1998) and "Key Words Spelling" (with Barry Silsby, 1997). She is also editor of "Tracking Significant Achievement in the Early Years" and of the H&S Managing Primary Mathematics series. Please click on the link below for the A4 Copy Masters document:


!The book provides practical examples of children's work, everyday classroom situations and case studies. The tips for planning activities for in-service training days are very useful, and could help staff illustrate their points clearly. The author explains assessment in simple terms, and the explanations of policy are particularly easy to understand. The 'frequently asked questions' included highlight common concerns and situations. !Newly qualified teachers would find the explanations of policies and theories useful. Teachers looking for guidance or information on topics such as target setting would also benefit greatly from reading the book particularly those who have been in the profession for some time and are perhaps unfamiliar with new methods of teaching. -- Education Management 20010701 Significant research findings do not always have the impact on the classroom they deserve. Unlocking Formative Assessment is designed to overcome this problem in relation to the research described by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam in their seminal pamphlet on diagnostic assessment, Inside the Black Box (1998, King's College School of Education). The chapters on such topics as planning and target-setting are useful, but those on sharing learning intentions, pupil self-evaluation and feedback get to the heart of formative assessment. If pupils understand clearly what they are meant to be learning, rather than simply completing the activities and exercises they are set, they are far more likely to benefit from the lesson. Shirley Clarke provides plenty of examples taken from real classrooms of how formative assessment works in practice, with tables and posters for teachers to adapt to suit their own contexts. The emphasis is on a whole-school approach. Each chapter includes a box of practical Inset ideas to get things started. The title of the final chapter, "Using this book to make a difference", signals clearly the author's intention to offer a realistic strategy. She acknowledges the likely obstacles, for example, from teachers who feel too pressurised already to take on new initiatives, and she suggests ways to overcome the problems. As she explains: "What matters is that every teacher is clear about the rationale for the practices in the school -- why you are doing what you do." Black and Wiliam's research showed that focusing on formative assessment could have a real impact on standards in classrooms. Shirley Clarke's book will help teachers to put these findings into practice. -- Times Educational Supplement 20010914 At Papdale [Papdale Primary School, Kirkwall], they have their own bible on assessment. Shirley is to be found hanging around the staffroom in a dog-eared state, but she is much loved. Staff wondering what Shirley has to say about anything grab a copy of Unlocking Formative Assessment by Shirley Clarke. Its advice is detailed and well targeted for younger pupils. -- The Times Educational Supplement 20041015

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