When a teacher has finished teaching a new skill or concept, how do they know the students actually learned what they’ve been taught? At City Springs, our teachers use something called a “formative assessment” to see if the students are learning and comprehending content covered in class. Formative assessments are different from end-of-unit tests or quarterly exams. They are quick activities that check to make sure students are learning along the way while informing the teacher of areas that need reteaching or firming. In other words, they offer a snapshot of what students know.

Elementary math teacher Mr. Nebbia uses a program called Edulastic as a formative assessment tool for his students. Edulastic is an online platform that City Springs teachers can use to measure the progress of their students towards mastering certain topics. After Mr. Nebbia has taught through new mathematical concepts, he assigns them a few problems in Edulastic that quickly assess their learning and make sure they can actually apply what they’ve been taught. The program assesses students via a variety of technology-enhanced problems that include drag-and-drop questions, multipart problems, reading passages, and mathematical graphing tools.

This program is aligned with the Maryland State Common Core standards, and the types of questions they encounter on the program look and feel exactly like the problems they will face on the PARCC, Maryland’s end-of-year assessment. And best of all, Edulastic is free to educators! Click here if you would like to try out Edulastic for yourself.