I really believe that even the most traditional school librarian among us is a natural at formative assessment, or ungraded feedback that helps kids get to a better result than they could unaided. We can also practice the feedback loop when we look at student work and use it to revise or improve our own instruction.
Formative assessment can happen when:
we help kids pick a book that’s a better fit than their initial choice
a kid gets stuck on a search and we give them a few new search terms
students are struggling to develop a thesis and we mini-conference
we take a look at bibliographies before they’re submitted or even while research is underway
when we open up NoodleTools, see who’s struggling, and invite those students to stop by for guidance
we collect “how’s it going” forms, one-minute essays (where kids answer a question you pose, responding to it by filling up an index card), or collect “tickets out the door” from kids that we use to plan the next day’s mini-lesson accordingly
What else do you do to give gentle feedback to kids and to yourself? How might your expertise impact “Julie’s” scenario below?