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"Teachers use a variety of deliberate methods to assess what students are learning during and between lessons. These include simple questions, short performance tasks, journal or notebook entries, surveys, or end-of-class “exit tickets.” These frequent checks provide information about students’ current understandings and help the teacher adjust instruction during a single lesson or from one lesson to the next"

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(December 2023)

The following video shows an example of how I introduced a Formative Assessment to evaluate reading comprehension in the Advanced Placement Spanish Language class. For the theme of aging, I designed three lessons where the students were exposed to the idea of how getting old is often associated with loneliness, illness, and isolation. After they explored how the elderly are treated differently in Hispanic countries compared to the United States, I invited them to reflect if the initial idea is something normal to be expected or if it needs to be changed. In the second lesson, I introduced the topic of immortality as an option for becoming old. I asked the students to reflect individually on the possibility of being immortal or living a normal lifespan by thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of immortality. We then had a group discussion to share their opinions. This lesson was in preparation for the third and final class. This class included a reading of the story "Nosotros, no" (Not Us) by author Jose B. Adolph. The story is set in a futuristic world where only people younger than 25 years old become immortal. Despite being a challenging read, it is suitable for students at the level

The Introduction of the Formative Assessment

For the third class, I had planned to start by introducing the first two paragraphs of the story "Nosotros, no". This was to prepare the students for the reading of the entire story. I read the paragraphs aloud to the students and highlighted any new vocabulary words that were used by the author. Since the story is challenging to read, I asked the students to discuss their thoughts on the material with their peers. After this, we had a whole-class discussion to identify the various social aspects present in the story. To provide a better understanding, I recorded their thoughts in a graphic organizer that is displayed below. Following the discussion, I introduced a Formative Assessment to evaluate their comprehension of the text, which you can see in the video.

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Graphic Organizer

Strengths of the Formative Assessment 


  • I designed a formative assessment aligned with the objective of the lesson: After reading and discussing the text selection with the group, students will understand and interpret the story's main idea and form opinions on the topic of immortality. The lesson plan was created using the backward design, having the objective of the lesson as the anchor to develop the structure and activities of the day. The objective is based on the ACTFL Communication Standard 1.2. The lesson objective gave me the path to look into what I needed to include in the formative assessment to have the student show their understanding of the reading.I designed an exercise where students had to write a false statement as if it were true, using good grammar and vocabulary. The main objective was to evaluate their comprehension, and as long as their ideas were understandable, it was fine. This exercise followed a communicative approach.

Formative Assessment

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  • The formative assessment was introduced clearly after a group discussion. The students participated in a group discussion where they identified important social aspects of the story. This discussion helped them to perform better in the assessment. The students were attentive and listened carefully to the instructions. To ensure they understood the vocabulary, I read all of the assessment sentences for them. Once the instructions were clear, they were able to complete the assessment without any issues.

  • Following the lesson plan, the students had enough time to complete the assessment. This formative assessment was designed for individual work. Students were tasked to display understanding by rewriting up to six sentences. The assigned 10 minutes was appropriate.

  • There were two patterns I could identify from the data collection: GOOD understanding and OKAY understanding.


AP Spanish class: 21 students 

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GOOD understanding 17 cases.

GOOD-Formative Assessment pile contains the handouts of students who demonstrate a good understanding and interpretation of the reading by choosing the correct answer and making a false statement true, showing the following:

-A correct choice of "true or false"

-An understandable message in the re-write sentence

-Correct grammar.

OKAY  understanding 4 cases.

OKAY-Formative Assessment pile contains the handouts of students who demonstrate a medium level of understanding and interpretation of the reading, either not choosing the correct answer or failing to make a false statement true, showing  the following:

-A correct choice of "true or false"

-An understandable message in the re-write sentence

-Incorrect grammar.

  • I used the formative assessment results to evaluate my students' comprehension of the introduction paragraph in "Nosotros, no." I tested their ability to distinguish between true and false statements about the story they read. This helped me to determine their level of understanding and readiness to continue reading the rest of the story. Based on their performance, I identified the need for a tutoring session with the group of students who were doing okay, to review structure. Overall, by selecting the correct answers to the sentences, they showed good understanding and interpretation of the text, which was the objective of the lesson.

Formative Assessment Growth Link

After the last semester of my teaching experience, I have improved my ability to design, implement, grade, and analyze formative assessments to adjust my teaching either individually or for the entire class. If you want to learn more about my progress, you can follow the link."

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