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The Teaching ALWAYS Actions are ‘must do’ behaviors or essential teaching practices teachers must do every day in their classrooms to ensure students are engaged and therefore, learning. See the introductory blog and view related posts Action 1: Procedures , Action 2: Targets , Action 3: Practice, and Action 4: Feedback.

Action 5: Summative Assessment

Record a grade from a student achievement score applying a well-developed test and/or a performance assessment (both designed and aligned to targets taught) to score student achievement.

Alignment to Evidence-Based Practice: Hattie’s Meta-Analysis Research (2009)

Ask students how they will perform on the test and they can tell you. Set student expectations higher than students set for themselves.

After students practice learning tasks aligned to learning targets while receiving specific feedback, they are ready for the teacher to judge or grade their work. Now teachers need the critical skill of developing good summative assessment tools including tests and performance assessments. Summative measures are included in a student’s grade unlike the formative assessment or “pulse checks” used during practice sessions.

JP Grades-Summative Assessments

Only data from summative measures are averaged as part of a student’s final grade. Within a 30 day time period, teachers plan segments of instruction that include scaffolds of learning targets. Teachers create tools to use for summative purposes at the end of each instructional segment. This occurs after students practice the skill the teacher intends to measure. When designing or evaluating existing summative assessment tools, one must keep this purpose in mind. That is, just as learning targets scaffold instruction, summative assessment tools must evaluate student learning on the major blocks or segments of instruction along the way.

Today’s Teacher Tip is from Who’s Engaged? Climb the Learning Ladder to See by Janet Pilcher, Ph.D.





Hattie, John. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

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