Featured Publication

Achieving Student Growth: the Powerful IMPACT of Micro-feedback Formative Assessment

by Dr. Robert K. Greenleaf

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The Micro-feedback Formative Assessment process (MFA) described within this book integrates effective formative feedback, assessment, action research and professional learning communities at their highest impact levels. The pivotal elements of IMPACT within each endeavor are carefully orchestrated to shift from a data emphasis that ascertains “what” a student is able to do (raw score, performance level, percentile, etc.) to a discrete learning target within a standard or progression. 

The timely evidence produced begins to pinpoint “why” a student is struggling, not just “that” s/he is struggling. Once the point of struggle is determined, focused instruction can be directed specifically to the identified learning need. As pivotal elements within a progression of learning are understood, many accompanying elements also become apparent to the learner… resulting in significant gains in performance. As we move to Common Core Standards, this approach will bring formative assessment to life and shed light on how to work with students to address whatever learning needs become apparent from both standardized and local assessment results. Student growth data becomes clear as the practice becomes second nature!

This process is doable within current work demands, taps into areas of curricular interest to educators and provides immediate feedback useful for instructional decisions.

Testimonial by 
Curriculum Coordinator Murphy
“Our School District began working with micro-feedback formative assessments in September of 2008. We had attempted several “quick fixes” to raise student achievement in math, and our scores remained dismal. The work was focused on the elementary math program. We began by teaching staff how to write an informative formative assessment; and how to use the data from that assessment to adjust lessons…and we saw student achievement begin to climb! Next we made tough decisions on what was important to emphasize in student learning [power standard])…and we saw our scores climb again!  This past year the teachers worked on a logical sequence for teaching math concepts and skills [learning progressions].  We saw the best June standardized scores that we have ever seen.  Working with this process has been the best thing that has happened in math in our district!  Students and teachers are saying they enjoy math, and parents are very pleased with the results!” 

Testimonial by Principal Allen
“We began using the MFA process at our school last year in grades 3 and 4 as part of a federal grant.  Within a brief 4 week period, it was evident that this initiative would change the way the grade level teachers looked at data and provided instruction and intervention. Through this, we redesigned our PLCs, administered PRE- POST- and formative assessments, monitored academic achievement with a micro-feedback focus and used live data to drive instruction.  The teachers saw great results in student achievement (soaring levels of proficiency on the place value and fractions progressions).  Additionally, our students were excited to see the immediate results when presented in graph form—and excitement for learning Math increased overnight.   Seeing immediate results, teachers are committed to the effective MFA practices guided through the non-negotiables.  Stay tuned.  We’re investing in this process as a central component of our work.  Our achievement outcomes are destined to progress in ways not seen before.”