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Identifying starting points

Chris discusses how the use of assessment practices elicits the evidence that allows the teacher to see where students are at in their learning.

In the week ahead, you will explore how you could elicit evidence about where your students are in their learning. What do they understand, partly understand, or what are they confused by? By diagnosing at this stage, you can begin to think about how differentiation might work for your class over the next few lessons.

We will be exploring how formative assessment approaches link to effective differentiating for learning with a range of ideas exemplified by our teachers in their classrooms.

In the video, Chris mentions specifically Concept Cartoons, questions that stimulate intentional dialogue and KWL grids as useful strategies to identify students’ starting points. Ideas like this and others are explored in more detail in our companion courses Introducing Assessment for Learning and Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment.


Think of a topic you have taught recently. What activity did you use that helped you identify students’ starting points at the beginning of the topic.
  1. What was the topic and activity?
  2. What did it tell you about where students were in their learning?
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Differentiation for Learning

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