The Formative 5 in Action, Grades K-12
Updated and Expanded From The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom
- Francis (Skip) Fennell - McDaniel College, USA
- Beth McCord Kobett - Stevenson University
- Jonathan A. Wray - Howard County Public Schools
A co-publication with NCTM
Corwin Mathematics Series
Formative Assessment | Mathematics & Numeracy | Teaching Methods & Learning Styles
Leverage formative assessment in mathematics every single day
For fans of the bestselling book The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom comes this updated and expanded edition for understanding and implementing highly effective, research-backed formative assessment techniques into seamless, daily practice with students in grades K-12. The Formative 5 in Action serves as an interactive guide that steers teachers toward successful implementation of the formative five techniques of observation, interviews, Show Me, hinge questions, and exit tasks. This updated guidebook offers:
- More than 120 minutes of video examples of the five techniques in action in real K-12 classrooms, showing teachers not just what to do but how to do it
- An engaging format with built-in reflection exercises and activities that foster individual professional learning and promote PLC study through discussion and collaboration
- An explicit emphasis on providing effective and timely feedback to students while harnessing student strengths throughout teaching and learning
- Comprehensive responses to teachers’ frequently asked questions that have surfaced since the publication of the first book
The research is clear – the authors’ five formative assessment techniques lead to greater attention to planning, stronger instruction for teachers, and better achievement for students. The Formative 5 in Action is a truly engaging resource that helps mathematics teachers and instructional leaders engage in classroom-based formative assessment with precision, intentionality, and ease.
The Formative 5 was a must-read book for anyone teaching math. It provided a wealth of practical guidance for teachers to make good formative assessment part of their regular planning and instruction. In The Formative 5 in Action, Fennell, Kobett, and Wray take things to the next level, expanding the scope of the original book to include high school math and providing even more practical guidance, supplemented by video resources that give key insights from teachers and students and by illustrations of what great formative assessment looks like in real classrooms. Anyone teaching math in K–12 needs this book in their professional library. It’s a game changer.
The Formative 5 in Action captures the essence of humanizing assessment practices that celebrate students’ strengths and extend their math thinking to build positive math identities for every learner. I love that these practical modules with videos, tools, and tech tips can be used in K–12 professional learning communities as well as in methods courses to engage teachers in analyzing student responses using the five techniques!
Fennell, Kobett, and Wray helped us grow our knowledge and use of formative assessment in their original book. They’ve taken it to a whole new level with this updated version by providing us with additional tools for implementation. The videos and classroom examples bring the book’s ideas to life and aid us in better utilizing formative assessment in the mathematics classroom.
Kudos to Fennell, Kobett, and Wray for expanding on their wonderful book, The Formative 5. I am impressed with their attention to the importance of feedback and the variety of techniques teachers can use to help students understand where they are going, be aware of what progress is being made, and address the next steps in the instructional progression. This book is a great tool for teachers who want to use assessment more effectively.
The Formative 5 in Action is the logical next step for building depth, making connections, and supporting a community of practice with teams of educators. The book unpacks the five assessment techniques in ways that are accessible for educators to incorporate into their teaching. Specifically, I appreciate how this book incorporates vignettes, technology, and videos to support the use of the techniques for classroom use.
The Formative 5 in Action illuminates the benefits, how-tos, and real-life stories around implementing formative assessment techniques in the K–12 classroom. The interactive and user-friendly modules create a crucial resource expanding upon the first edition and connecting theory to realistic teacher practice. Additionally, the conversations around feedback and the importance of teacher reflection are impressive. I am excited to incorporate this resource into district work.
Formative assessment is one of the most powerful tools in a teacher’s tool kit. This book beautifully presents five essential formative assessment techniques and breaks them down in clear language. Doing so makes formative assessment accessible to every teacher by using guiding questions, specific examples, and tools for reflection and analysis. I would use this book for self-study or in a professional learning community with my colleagues. It is a must for every mathematics educator’s bookshelf.
Accurate, authentic, and useful assessment is the linchpin of any K–12 mathematics classroom. When some people are asking, “What’s the point of all this assessment?” Fennell, Kobett, and Wray are saying, “Learning is the point.” What’s to love about this book? Among many things, it shares how to:
• Use students’ strengths as the instructional starting line for the lesson.
• Reposition lesson closure from exit tickets to exit tasks.
• Deploy questions not just as probes but instead as potential pivot points
that guide the direction of the lesson.
• Delve into students’ thoughts and decision making while sharing targeted
• Move away from using feedback as suggestions for merely doing more or
• Use “you and me time” to create a private moment to build relationships
and meet individual needs.
The Formative 5 in Action is the “playbook” for well-planned and easy-to-embed formative assessment tools that inform and as a result improve instruction and enrich learning. This is, in the authors’ words, “important stuff.”
The new features of this edition, including the strengths-based teaching, reflection tools, and videos, provide more engagement with the assessment strategies presented in each chapter. Fennell, Kobett, and Wray have teamed up to share practical approaches to assessment for mathematics educators at all levels.
In this new edition, the authors shout out, “Let’s start with student strengths!” and follow through with a powerful expansion of formative assessment tools and resources. This will be valuable for K–12 teachers, instructional coaches, professional development leaders, administrators, district leaders, and many others. Throughout it is clear that planning, instruction, and assessment are inextricably linked to support student learning with intentionality.