Formative assessment is an assessment FOR learning.
Summative assessment is an assessment OF learning.
In other words, when using formative assessments, the teacher is using that information to guide further instruction. What have students mastered and what do they still need to practice more? The confusion often lies in whether grades should be tied to formative assessment. My answer is definitely! Sometimes.
In my opinion, all learning activities should be used as formative assessments! As an educator, why would I NOT use the information I get from students as they participate in different activities to guide my future plans? But not all of those activities need to be calculated in the student's grade.
There are lots of digital assessment tools available now that make collecting that information and data far easier than it used to be. Here are some of my favorites:
Have you used any of these tools? Which are your favorites? What do you love that I didn't mention?