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Embedded Formative Assessment - practical strategies and tools for K-12 teachers

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  324 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
If we are to maintain our status as one of the world s leading economies and secure our economic futures, and if we want our students to thrive in the impossibly complex, unpredictable world of the 21st century, we must concentrate on increasing educational achievement by increasing the quality of the teachers in our schools. Dylan Wiliam faces this challenge head-on by ma ...more
Perfect Paperback, 162 pages
Published May 25th 2011 by Solution Tree (first published May 1st 2011)
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Lisa Nimz
Nov 22, 2012 Lisa Nimz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
I "finished" this book a long time ago, but keep going back to it. I am a veteran teacher and this is currently my most valued resource. It is changing certain crucial aspects of the way I teach.

My attention was riveted when I noticed that Wiliam seems to know all the ways that teaching can be frustrating--especially aspects related to practices that seem like they should work but do not. In order to change those practices, I must have an open mind and be disciplined because it involves changing
Oct 23, 2014 Per rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good connection to pedagogical theories earlier lifted in Wiliams research. This is a book for teachers who want to develop the assessment for teaching/formative assessment in classroom. But if you are interested I can recommend shorter articles where you get a faster overview over formative assessment. It is still worth to read if you do researches around this area of subject. But as a book to read back home after a tough day... Maybe not my first choise :P
Jun 21, 2014 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Another great book for educators by Solution Tree Press.

This is a great book for someone like me who is in mid career and wants to reflect upon their own practices and come up with new (and old) ways of monitoring student learning.

What I appreciated about the author, Dylan Williams, is that he tells it like it is, and makes no apologies for calling out the errors of the past decade's movement to reform the system. He uses studies to back up his propositions and then moves on to the heart of th
Oct 28, 2015 Ted rated it it was amazing
Teachers hear about formative assessment frequently, seldom is it used well. Dylan William does an outstanding job of brushing off the sugar coating and getting right to the heart of the matter. He supplies outstanding research and suggestions about teacher prep and PD, as well as providing 53 formative assessment techniques teachers can use daily in the classroom. William drove several points home in this book classroom teachers need to reflect on and take to heart. These three resonated with m ...more
Aug 08, 2015 Carla rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished
While educators may be turned off with the first two chapters, I personally appreciate when the researcher builds his/her
case for the why. That being said, I enjoyed the last four chapters as he shared practical application and examples to apply theory to practice. I think teachers would use all suggested examples to deepen their own assessment practice, to possibly change their understanding of learning vs achievement, and/or to try out their assessments with students. What I liked best in the
Aug 18, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mycket intressant att läsa Dylan Williams sammanställning om hur lärarkvalitet definieras och hur det i sin tur påverkar elevframsteg. Mer effektiva intelligenta lärare som brinner för sina ämnen och älskar att arbeta med barn och unga!

Jag förstår varför lärare har den här boken som uppslagsbok. Jag lånade den på biblioteket, men jag har redan antecknat så mycket så jag får definitivt köpa den. Jag läser lite varje morgon och kväll och hjärnan går på högvarv. Hela tiden sprutar det ut konkreta i
Theresa Leone Davidson
Jul 31, 2014 Theresa Leone Davidson rated it really liked it
William's book is all about formative assessment - the assessment a teacher does while teaching, not at the end of teaching with, say, a test (that's summative evaluation)but while teaching, quick, easy strategies that lets a teacher know if she is getting her message to the students and, if not, how she can adjust her teaching - and while some of what he writes is not realistic, or even desirable (like American schools ideally would get rid of all grading) most of what he includes is sound, esp ...more
May 25, 2015 Elie rated it liked it
When I was hired a year ago, I was given a stack of dreadful-looking professional development books during orientation. This was one of those books. Upon further inspection, it didn't look so bad. As it turns out, it was pretty good! It wasn't earth shattering for me, mostly because I was already familiar with many of the strategies from reading copious amounts of professional development books. That said, I did highlight a lot of parts that I want to come back to and try in my classroom.

The bo
Feb 18, 2012 mstan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All teachers
Recommended to mstan by: Work
I first read Wiliam and Black's "Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards through Classroom Assessment" (1998) (just google it) two years ago, and it had a profound effect on the way I thought about assessment in the classroom. Engagement in good assessment practices is not something that comes naturally to teachers, in my opinion, except perhaps in the form of asking good questions and giving students sufficient (but not too much) wait time. Actually, most teachers in this system would think of ...more
May 26, 2013 Helene rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All educators
Shelves: nonfiction, education
This is one of the very BEST books in education that I have read in a very long time.

I heard Dylan Wiliam speak in Nashua last summer, Granite State College brought him in as the kick-off to s school improvement work session for teacher teams. He models good teaching and what he outlines in this book which is refreshing in educational speakers. Michael Fullan and Robin Fogarty are two other speakers who come to mind and do this in their sessions. He is great with wait time, circulating among AL
Oct 09, 2014 Alexandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: school, read-in-2014
The last four chapters of the book are chock-full of excellent suggestions about how to embed formative assessment into everyday teaching practise. Some of them are hard and require quite a lot of time (from my perspective); some of them take little time but do require forethought and, in particular, a sense of being deliberate about doing and using the different strategies. I am challenged to improve, and appalled by some things I have been doing for years, and determined to do better.

Two thing
Mar 05, 2016 Witjestom rated it really liked it
Verassend leuk en herkenbaar. Wiliam haalt veel pakkend onderzoek erbij en vertaald deze ook naar praktische klassentools. Het raamwerk dat hij aandraagt om er continu alles aan te doen om de leerling op het juiste leerpad te houden is eenvoudig en dus zeer bruikbaar. Het raamwerk maakt ieders rol duidelijk, die van de leerkracht, van de leerling maar ook die van de medeleerling. Wat mij in de leerkrachtrol aanspreekt is het duidelijk maken en delen van de leerintenties maar ook de succescriteri ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Damos rated it liked it
Great book. Highly relevant theories with some solid practical techniques & applications. Probably deserves more than 3 stars but I found myself getting disconcerted and somewhat removed from some of the elaborate examples described. I agreed with so much from this book but may always maintain the importance of human teacher relationship - a teacher is a professional relationship builder/ educator. Education IS our 'core business' but is hard to quantify or qualify & often means nothing ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Ann rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on both the theory and practise of assessment for learning.
Epilogue has very useful list off all the strategies talked about in the book.
Really like Williams suggestion to not try everything but to select two or three things and embed them into teaching until they become natural.
Top favourites -
1. organizing mark book with assessment criteria as well as names so can see clearly what they have learnt. Excel would allow number scores to change to colour for ease of viewing
2. Pops
Jason Molesky
Jun 22, 2015 Jason Molesky rated it it was amazing
Dylan Wiliam is my assessment geek crush. EFA provides an excellent overview of the research behind the formative assessment process and describes a variety of practical applications within the classroom. Coupled with Stiggins/Chappuis' work on assessment for learning, Brookhart's work on effective feedback, and Wiliam's earlier work on assessment, this is a great resource to get you thinking about your classroom practices. I highly recommend this book to any teacher!
Nov 03, 2011 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
This book is filled with excellent suggestions, research-based, for embedding informative assessment in your classroom WITHOUT more testing. Many of the techniques involve helping students take responsibility for their own learning in excellent ways. My 4* reflect that while it has a ton of hands-on, ready-to-go ideas, it also contains a fair amount of research and policy ideas, as if the author was split between two audiences.
Jul 03, 2015 Marian rated it really liked it
I found this book to be dry at first. The science of studying assessment was convincing, but not motivating. However, once the author moved past explaining why we should change our assessment practices to enhance learning, and focused more on how to do so, it became an amazingly practical and helpful book. I found it to be broadly applicable, while still individually useful. My intention is to peruse the book again with the intention of continuing to build my formative assessment practices.
Jun 13, 2012 Angie rated it it was amazing
At times this books was a little overwhelming, but it was also an inspiring call to action with a great deal of ready-to-use classroom techniques. The book touched on a variety of areas such as motivation, student engagement, and student accountability, as well as assessment. This was nice because it placed assessment within the big picture of teaching, rather than talking about it in isolation.
Jul 31, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Wiliam offers a very clear definition of formative assessment and sets out the perimeters for how teachers can go about embedding useful everyday tasks and techniques for students that move them forward in their learning. The back of the book even offers a list of techniques to use and their descriptions. Definitely a worthwhile read.
Chris May
Nov 06, 2013 Chris May rated it liked it
I liked this book, even though it is a bit hard to read at times. His understanding of educational research, and the flaws of much of that research. Useful to refute admin types that arbitrarily site the strategy of the month as "researched based" The second half of chapters 3-7 focuses on strategies that can be used in the classroom. I found some of them helpful.
Chris McMillan
Oct 26, 2012 Chris McMillan rated it it was amazing
The 'why' of formative assessment is powerfully covered within this book. I have read many on the topic and this is credible and powerful as a good initial reference. It is also easy to read as well and enjoyable.
Jestin VanScoyoc
Jun 08, 2014 Jestin VanScoyoc rated it really liked it
This is a formative assessment of the book, and I should give more constructive, quality feedback after implementing some of the strategies. It seems to be researched based. It reads as a blend of styles of persuasive, narrative, and instructional-strategies.
Erica Speaks
Oct 15, 2011 Erica Speaks rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
Genius. I especially appreciate Mr. Wiliam's analogies, as well as acknowledgment of classroom realities. The usual gap between "ivory-tower" theory and "in-the-trenches" practice is bridged brilliantly, which sets his book apart from most.
Dec 28, 2013 Matt rated it it was amazing
A comprehensive review of the research conducted and collected on formative assessment by Wiliam. He clearly breaks down formative assessment into five tenets, making it more likely for practicing educators to understand the concept and apply it to his or her classrooms.
Jim Green
Jan 08, 2015 Jim Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A valuable book to read to get good input on formative assessment. The book is written so that you both get practical tools of how to work with formative assessment and wide view of research done in the field of assessment. The book is a must read for teachers.
Allyson Olson
Mar 15, 2012 Allyson Olson rated it it was amazing
Wiliam makes a great case for why formative assessment has the power to transform student achievement. The second part of the book has lots of strategies that teacher can implement in the classroom.
Megan Peterson
Feb 24, 2016 Megan Peterson rated it it was amazing
Wiliam brings a mix of theoretical underpinnings of assessment for learning and practical classroom strategies together in this useful book. I find this book essential when working as an education consultant.
Krista Tillman
May 27, 2012 Krista Tillman rated it really liked it
Second half of the book is the best - filled with suggestions about how to get students more engaged in the classroom with use of some quick and easy formative assessment strategies. LOADED with research.
Feb 25, 2013 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
Formative assessment is not new to me or to my teaching; but Dylan Wiliam teases apart the research in a way that is invigorating and practical. This is a must read for all teachers.
Leonard Houx
Apr 29, 2014 Leonard Houx rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read in education. Up there with John Hattie's Visible Learning. I hope to be able to incorporate his insights into my work as soon as possible.
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Lewis and Clark B...: The books are here-dig in and share your thoughts. 1 5 May 23, 2012 09:09PM  
  • Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
  • Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement
  • Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School
  • When Can You Trust the Experts?: How to Tell Good Science from Bad in Education
  • Essential Questions: Opening Doors to Student Understanding
  • Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching
  • Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner
  • Unmistakable Impact: A Partnership Approach for Dramatically Improving Instruction
  • Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions
  • Making Learning Whole: How Seven Principles of Teaching Can Transform Education
  • Making Thinking Visible
  • So What Do They Really Know?: Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning
  • Who Owns the Learning?: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age (Incorporate Technology and Opportunities Into Instruction)
  • Pathways to the Common Core: Accelerating Achievement
  • The Elephant in the Classroom: Helping Children Learn and Love Maths
  • The Art And Science Of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework For Effective Instruction
  • Choice Words: How Our Language Affects Children's Learning
  • The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction

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“A bad curriculum well taught is invariably a better experience for students than a good curriculum badly taught: pedagogy trumps curriculum. Or more precisely, pedagogy is curriculum, because what matters is how things are taught, rather than what is taught.” 1 likes
“The greatest impact on learning is the daily lived experiences of students in classrooms, and that is determined much more by how teachers teach than by what they teach.” 1 likes
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