INFORMative Assessment: Formative Assessment Practices to Improve Mathematics Achievement, Middle and High School


INFORMative assessment should be intertwined with instruction. As we teach, we assess; and as we assess, we teach. With this in mind, INFORMative Assessment goes inside more than 30 classrooms to take “A Closer Look” at how to:

  • create learning targets from instructional standards;
  • design and use probing questions, intentional listening, and follow-up tasks to reveal students’ thinking;
  • use mathematically rich tasks to gather evidence about students’ thinking;
  • identify students’ “logic” that leads to correct, incomplete, or incorrect responses;
  • provide actionable feedback to students; and
  • plan with colleagues to implement INFORMative assessment in instruction.

More than 45 reflections support teachers in confidently carrying out actions in their own classrooms. Each chapter includes connections to standards, specifically the Common Core, and a place for you to record notes about your use of INFORMative assessment—changes in your thinking, your questions, your frustrations, and, most importantly, your successes!

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Jeane M. JoynerJeane M. Joyner is the Director of Meredith College’s Mathematics and Science Institutes, has been the President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, has written numerous teacher resource materials, and has more than 50 years in education, PreK through college. She is the coauthor of the first book in this series, INFORMative Assessment, Grades K–6.

George BrightGeorge W. Bright has more than 30 years of experience working with preservice and inservice mathematics teachers, from Northern Illinois University and University of Calgary to Emory University, University of Houston, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has published extensively and has coauthored several resources with Jeane, including Dynamic Classroom Assessment.

"For too long, instruction has been an act separated from assessment for middle school and high school mathematics teachers. In INFORMative Assessment, Joyner and Bright provide a remarkable road map for the seamless blending of these two high-impact teacher responsibilities. They offer discussion protocols, tools, and clear examples of teacher practice within a well-defined and research-affirmed ongoing cycle of teacher and student reflection. INFORMative Assessment is just that—a must-read that will inform the deep and successful practice of every teacher and teacher team!"

Timothy D. Kanold, Past President, National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics

"With all the attention on large-scale accountability tests, we need to keep our eye on the most important kind of assessment of all: formative assessment. In this easy-to-read resource, Joyner and Bright combine expert wisdom with sound research and practical advice, delivering exactly the tools every teacher needs to make sure students learn the math they need to learn."

Cathy L. Seeley, author of Faster Isn’t Smarter and Smarter Than We Think

"There are not enough usable materials for secondary teachers about teaching and student learning. INFORMative Assessment helps fill this void, emphasizing how important it is to know what students are thinking. Joyner and Bright ask teachers to reflect on questions about their beliefs, an essential step for moving to a stage where formative assessment can help students learn mathematics in a meaningful way."

Mary M. Lindquist, Past President, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

"INFORMative Assessment is an excellent resource for teachers, helping them think more about the seamless relationship that should exist between instruction and assessment. It supports teachers in taking the action steps called for in National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ (NCTM) Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (2014) as well as connecting to the eight mathematics teaching practices of NCTM. Moreover, INFORMative Assessment makes explicit connections to the content standards and the standards for mathematical practice of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics."

Marilyn E. Strutchens, Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor and Mildred Chesire Fraley Distinguished Professor, Auburn University, Alabama
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