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Types of Assessments

Understanding Assessments

Many times you will see terms related to assessment in updates from our teachers and our grade books. We realize that some of these terms are words that parents may not be familiar with so we wanted to clarify a few key terms that you may have heard.

  • Formative assessments
    • These are assessments and assignment that allow teachers to assess how students are doing on concepts during a unit of study. This allows teachers to determine how a student is progressing before the final unit assessment.
    • There are many forms of formative assessments. Some examples of formative assessments are workbook pages, graphic organizers, group activity, quiz, or short project may be used as a formative assessment.
  • Summative Assessments
    • These are assessments that are given when the students have completed a specific unit of study. Most often, these are either an end of chapter test or a culminating project.
  • Benchmark Assessments
    • These are tests and assessments that are used to measure a students’ growth and progress in attaining the standards. These assignments are not weighted in a students’ grades; however, the reading levels will be reported to you on the report card and teachers will share this information at conferences as well.
    • At DIS, our Fountas and Pinnell Benchmarks, Scholastic Reading Inventory Assessments and the Scholastic Math Assessments are used in this capacity.
  • On Demand Assessments
    • These are common tests and assessments that are given to all students at a grade level.
    • In reading and writing, these assessments demonstrate whether or not a student can demonstrate the skills that are expected to be secure at the time of the assessment. Due to the nature of these assessments, students do not study for these tests; rather they show what they know.