Formative Assessment Resources

Formative Assessment Resources

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is the planned process of gathering information on a child/student, analyzing and reflecting on the information, and using it to help plan the child’s next steps in learning.


These three articles focus on the use of ongoing assessment in Early Childhood Programs:


Dichtelmiller, M. (2011) The power of assessment. Washington, D.C.: Teaching Strategies, Inc.

McMillan, J.H. (Ed.). (2007) Formative classroom assessment: Theory and practice. New York: Teachers College Press

Popham, W.J. (2008) Transformative assessment. Alexandria, VA: ASCD. (Refer to Chapter 1 Formative Assessment: Why, What, and Whether)

Observation And Documentation

Online Resources

Appropriate and Meaningful Assessment in Family-Centered Programs This article discusses the important aspects of ongoing assessment and the various ways in which teachers collect, document, and organize information. The article focuses especially on how teachers can collaborate and reflect on collected information to set goals for children.

Observation in the Classroom This article discusses how to can make your observations in the classroom a powerful teaching resource and contains useful tips and examples.

Powerful Interactions – A Bridge between Teaching and Assessment This concise article presents clear explanations and specific examples showing how powerful interactions with children can be used to collect data for assessment that will inform teaching. is an invaluable resource for observing video-with-text to see what children know. The website has many resources, including over 300 videos, available for streaming or downloading, each with reflections and questions evoked by the video, and searchable with keywords by age and concept.


Gronlund, G. & James, M. (2005). Focused observations: How to observe children for assessment and curriculum planning. St. Paul, MN: RedLeaf Press.

Jablon, J.R., Dombro, A.L., & Dichtelmiller, M.L. (2007). The Power of observation for birth through eight (2nd Ed.). Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies Inc. & National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Understanding And Implementing Developmental Screening

Ages and Stages The Ages and Stages website has information on the ASQ as a developmental screening and links to useful downloadable resources.

Birth to Five: Watch Me Thrive! An Early Care and Education Provider’s Guide for Developmental and Behavioral Screening This is a great resource that provides important information for early care and education providers to help support children and families.

Developmental Screening Passport This pamphlet is your child’s screening record. It is a way to keep track of your child’s screening history and results.

Developmental Screening Works Video

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Resources and Services: A Guide for Early Education and Care Professionals This guide provides descriptions of services and supports available to families with young children, as well as resources for the early educators who work with them.


Meisels, S.J., & Atkins-Burnett, S. (2005). Developmental screening in early childhood. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Engaging Families In The Assessment Process

Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and an Integrated Review of the Literature, Young Children, Sept. 2009

Family Engagement in Action - NAEYC Resources Several articles can be accessed here that focus on engaging families as partners in promoting their children's growth and development.

Assessing Diverse Learners

Assessment Considerations for Young English Language Learners Across Different Levels of Accountability

Teaching at the Beginning Videos: The Young Dual Language Learner This is a rich collection of videos showcasing dual language preschoolers acquiring English, and features the stages and strategies of preschool second language acquisition over time.

Universal Design for Learning

The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework helps educators remember that we learn in diverse ways and so the assessment of learning must also be diverse. By practicing the three principles of UDL-- offer learners multiple ways of engagement, multiple ways of obtaining knowledge, and multiple ways of demonstrating what they have learned -- educators can better assess students and scaffold future learning.

UDL Guidelines

Integrating Principles of Universal Design into the Early Childhood Curriculum

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