Among the types of assessment the closest to daily reading instruction is formative assessment. In contrast to summative assessment, which occurs after instruction, formative assessment involves forming judgments frequently in the flow of instruction. Key features of formative assessment include identifying gaps between where students are and where they need to go in their reading development; creating feedback loops that provide information about changes in performance gaps; involving students in meaningful, productive self-assessment; and charting from point A to point B to shape, mold, form reading development in the desired direction. Implementation involves developing a set of basic reading activities with clear success criteria and cultivating a learning-oriented culture in the classroom where students are willing to persist at improving their knowledge and skills. Effective formative assessment in reading instruction calls for knowledgeable teachers who are willing to develop and hone their assessment skills and practices in daily reading instruction.
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