A FIRME Response to Assessment

Assessment is an integral component of the teaching and learning process, and as such, teacher response to assessment data is critical. So how should teachers respond to assessment data? Take FIRME action!

In the book Questioning for Formative Feedback: Meaningful Dialogue to Improve Learning, author Jackie Acree Walsh shares the following from the work of Nancy Love’s Research for Better Teaching:

  1. Feedback. Teachers should provide quality feedback to students regarding their respective assessments. The purpose of the feedback is to provide specifics regarding student performance in order to improve learning.
  2. Investigate. Teachers should investigate student thinking regarding their responses and understanding of the content assessed. The purpose of the investigation is to determine where confusion exists in order to provide a remedy. 
  3. Reteach. Teachers should reteach concepts if they were not learned. The purpose of the reteaching is to ensure that all learners have the opportunity to build their knowledge and skills. 
  4. Move on. Teachers should move on if the assessment is passed by the majority of students. The purpose of moving on is to introduce additional content necessary for overall mastery. 
  5. Extend. Teachers should extend content for those who demonstrate mastery. The purpose of the extension is to allow those students to dig deeper into challenging content while others are in the reteaching processing. 

As you prepare for next week, think of how you will use the assessments you administer. Take FIRME action. You and your students will be glad you did.

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