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Professional Development

The NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process involves five critical components: selecting learning targets, developing criteria for success, eliciting evidence of learning, interpreting the evidence, and adapting/responding to learning needs. The NC K-3 FAP team works to provide you with the resources you need to support the formative assessment process in your classroom, your school, and your district. On this page you will find a variety of resources to build your own capacity to implement the formative assessment process or help you provide professional development opportunities to others.




Table of Contents
| | | NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Modules | Facilitator's Guide Resources | NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Vision | Selecting Learning Targets | Developing Criteria for Success | | Eliciting Evidence of Learning | | Interpreting the Evidence | Adapting/Responding to Learning Needs | Putting It All Together

NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Modules


To enroll in the modules, simply log in through IAM and select the NCEES/TNL icon. For detailed information about accessing the Home Base PD System, please visit the Online Professional Development website: If you need support with module registration, please ask your LEAs / Charter School coordinator/administrator to contact the Home Base Support Center for support at 919-807-4357. Should you have any inquiries regarding support with any technical, login, password issues or any other logistics, please contact your LEA Home Base/NCEES admin for assistance.
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The NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Module for Teachers (1 CEU) is a 10-hour module intended for teachers, instructional coaches, or any educator who would like to expand their knowledge and understanding of this process or even just dig a little deeper into the NC K-3 FAP, including the Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA).

Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the five critical components of the formative assessment process through a variety of examples, photos, videos, and activities that are intended to support classroom implementation.

To enroll in the module, simply log in through IAM and select the NCEES/TNL icon.

The course number for this module is #6197.
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The NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Module for Administrators (.3 CEU) is a 3-hour mini-module intended specifically for school administrators, including any other school executive/leader who would like to expand their knowledge and understanding of this process or even just dig a little deeper into the NC K-3 FAP, including the Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA).

Through this mini-module, school leaders will gain a deeper understanding of the significance of the formative assessment process and whole child learning and development. Participants will also develop strategies and explore resources that will increase effectiveness in supporting teachers when implementing the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process.

To enroll in the module, simply log in through IAM and select the NCEES/TNL icon.

The course number for this module is #7283.

Facilitator's Guide Resources


These Professional Development Resources, organized by topic, have been curated by the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Professional Development Team to support the work of administrators and instructional leaders who are planning Professional Development for the NC K-3 FAP. Many of these resources are cited in the most up-to-date NC K-3 FAP Facilitator's Guide for NC District Implementation Teams, so you may find them most valuable used in conjunction with that guide. Click on each subheading on this page to be taken to that chapter of the Facilitator's Guide. Or contact your Regional Consultant for additional guidance and support for planning Professional Development.

If you wish to order hardcopies of the NC K-3 Facilitator's Guide for NC District Implementation Teams, please use the following information:

Order Number: KG125
Price: $20.00

NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Vision


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NC K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation provides key points illustrating the vision of the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process.
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Assessment for Learning and Development: A Report by the NC K-3 Assessment Think Tank (2013) -
This report summarizes scientific findings, best practices and solicited input from a wide array of stakeholders, including a survey of over 2,500 NC teachers and consultation from over 60 state and national scholars and education leaders. It provides the foundation for the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process.
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NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process Five Critical Components -
This document provides a brief explanation and expected implementation of the Five Critical Components of the Formative Assessment Process.
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Self Reflection - NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process -
This document helps educators to know the expected implementation of the Five Critical Components of the Formative Assessment Process and uses "I can" statements to support reflection and professional goal-setting.
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NC K-3 FAP Why? What? How? -
This Prezi presentation explains why formative assessment is important, what formative assessment is, and how it can be implemented in the classroom. Videos included feature Dr. Margaret Heritage and NC K-3 teachers & students.
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Formative Assessment as the Key to Effective Instructional Practice -
This Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory recorded webinar discusses the systematic process of formative assessment and the evidence it provides to help teachers inform instruction and students inform learning. In addition, the webinar examines the role of school leaders in supporting effective use of formative assessment and strategies that improve teacher effectiveness. Dr. Margaret Heritage is featured in this presentation. Presentation slides, Q&A with Dr. Heritage, and a transcript are also provided. (2 hours)
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Formative Assessment, Part I (August 2014) -
This recorded webinar presentation features Dr. Margaret Heritage and Dr. Carmella Fair. Dr. Heritage, a senior scientist at WestEd and consultant for the development of the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process, examines how formative assessment informs teaching and learning. Dr. Fair, the NC FALCON coordinator at NCDPI, discusses the NC Balanced Assessment System and the important role of formative assessment and how it fits with other types of assessment. The webinar concludes with a Q&A session with participants. (55 minutes)
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Formative Assessment, Part 2 (October 2014) -
This NCDPI recorded webinar presentation builds upon the Formative Assessment, Part I webinar by connecting the theory of formative assessment to real-life examples and connects this process to the instructional cycle. Photos and illustrations are provided. You may wish to have the Critical Components document available for reference during this webinar. (36 minutes)
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Unpacking the Think Tank Report (2014) -
This NCDPI recorded webinar presentation reviews the content of the 2013 published K-3 Assessment for Teaching and Learning Think Tank Report. This report was presented to Dr. Atkinson in October 2013 and serves as the driving force for the current assessment design phase of the project. The content of the report includes research-based educational claims about what is essential for children in kindergarten through third grade to know and be able to do. It also emphasizes the integrated nature of learning and child development during the early years. During this webinar, these educational claims are explored. (17 minutes)
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NCDPI Accountability and Services Division: Learn More About Formative Assessment -
This NCDPI webpage outlines the state-adopted definition of formative assessment and provides presentations, multimedia resources, and other learning tools to support districts in implementing a formative assessment process.


Selecting Learning Targets

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K-3 Construct Progressions PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes and unpacks the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process construct progressions.
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Five Domains of Learning and Development, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes and unpacks the five domains of learning and development that are foundational to the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process.
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Five Domains of Learning and Development LiveBinder -
This LiveBinder unpacks each of the five domains, providing a more detailed look at the various domains of development and learning. It also provides resources for the integrated nature of teaching, learning, and assessment. This LiveBinder can be used as an independent self-study tool or integrated within a collaborative learning experience (e.g., Professional Learning Community, staff training session).
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Five Domains of Learning and Development Webinar -
This recorded webinar presentation supports teachers in assessing the five domains of learning and development as identified by North Carolina’s definition of school readiness and aligned with North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development. Recognizing that all domains of learning are intertwined and that development in one domain affects growth and learning in others, it is essential for educators to support development in these areas in an effort to help children reach their potential. (50 minutes)
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Learning Progressions: Supporting Instruction and Formative Assessment, Margaret Heritage (2008) -
This paper describes the characteristics of learning progressions and how they can support teachers’ use of formative assessment. The paper was commissioned and supported by the FAST SCASS. (32 pages)
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"I Can" Statements Video -
This YouTube video describes what "I can" statements are and identifies the benefits of using them with students. (2 minutes)
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NCDPI K-12 Arts Education Instructional Tools -
This wiki provides a variety of resources to support the Essential Standards for Dance, Music, Theatre Arts, and Visual Arts. Two-page “I Can” Statements documents referenced on this wiki page provide a table of the NC Essential Standards skills and concepts and corresponding “I can” statements for grade bands K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 for each of these four K-12 Arts Education areas.


Developing Criteria for Success

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Criteria For Success Prezi -
This Prezi presentation describes and unpacks how we answer the question: "What does it look like when I successfully reach the learning target?" It describes types of criteria for success and discusses ways children can show what they know.
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Rounding on a Number Line Video -
In this video, a teacher asks two students to demonstrate their process for rounding numbers. The teacher utilizes probing questions to elicit students' explanations of the rounding process and discusses criteria for success as he clarifies students' understanding based upon the evidences of learning.
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A Smooth Reader Video -
In this video, a teacher listens to a child read aloud. The teacher models criteria for success as she demonstrates what it sounds like to read fluently.


Eliciting Evidence of Learning

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Becoming a Careful Observer PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes and unpacks how to become a careful observer of students in the classroom so that one can elicit evidence of learning within both teacher-initiated and student-initiated activities.
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Writing Observation-Based Notes PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes and unpacks how to document observations of students in the classroom.
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Using Situations to Leverage and Supplement Current Teaching Practices PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes and unpacks how to use situations to leverage and supplement current teaching practices. Situations are defined as intentionally-planned instructional activities designed to provide teachers guidance on or examples for setting up a learning activity to learn about students through observation and probing.
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Examining Effective Practices, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes effective classroom practices that support a formative assessment process.
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Engaging Families, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes how to engage families in the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process.
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Strategies for Becoming a Careful Observer -
This handout identifies strategies a careful observer can use to assess children.
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K-3 Effective Practices Self-Assessment -
This handout can be used as a self-assessment tool for educators to determine their current level of practices related to use of a formative assessment process.
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Shopping at the Market Video -
Several children write a grocery list to go shopping at the class market. The observer can notice two different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (writing to convey meaning, labeling, naming letters, vocabulary use) and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
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Rounding Video -
In this video, a teacher asks two students to demonstrate their process for rounding numbers. The teacher utilizes probing questions to elicit students' explanations of the rounding process and discusses criteria for success as he clarifies students' understanding based upon the evidences of learning.
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Rocks Video -
A teacher reviews vocabulary related to a unit of study in science. The observer can notice two different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (school-related vocabulary) and Emotional & Social Development (emotion regulation).
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Poor Old Polly Video -
Two children have selected the Poor Old Polly big book to read aloud together using pointers. The observer can notice three different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (book orientation, print awareness), Motor Development (grip and manipulation, hand dominance, crossing midline), and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
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Drawing, Writing, and Cutting Video -
Four children are sitting at a table working on various self-selected projects using scissors, markers, crayons, and paper. The observer can notice three different domains in this clip: Motor Development (fine motor, gross motor, crossing midline), Language Development & Communication (letter writing, drawing), and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
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Five Little Pumpkins Video -
Four children create a picture about the song, Five Little Pumpkins. They use scissors, construction paper, and glue to make the picture and count their pumpkins to see how many more they need to make. The observer can notice four different domains in this clip: Motor Development (grip and manipulation, hand dominance), Cognitive Development (object counting), Language Development & Communication (vocabulary), and Approaches to Learning (perseverance in a teacher-directed activity).
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A Guide to Effective Parent, Family, and Community Involvement in North Carolina Schools -
This NCDPI edition includes suggestions and resources for program enhancement and comes with a toolkit to help schools engage families and community members in the process of raising achievement for all children. (60 pages)
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Toolkit and Guide to Effective Parent, Family, and Community Involvement in North Carolina Schools -
This online NCDPI toolkit is designed to help schools more readily identify and incorporate strategies for working with families and communities as they engage them in the process of raising achievement for all students. Schools are encouraged to download the toolkit and store it for easy access and use. Standards- and assessment-based reforms have helped to identify which children exhibit more success in third grade and beyond; but to date these efforts have failed to meaningfully close achievement gaps. The lesser-known “P-3” reform approaches, however, are gaining traction because they focus on the crucial early childhood years from preschool through third grade. (5 pages)
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The Path to Lifelong Success Begins with P-3 (Kristie Kauerz, 2013) -
This article discusses how standards- and assessment-based reforms have helped to identify which children exhibit more success in third grade and beyond; but to date these efforts have failed to meaningfully close achievement gaps. The lesser-known “P-3” reform approaches, however, are gaining traction because they focus on the crucial early childhood years from preschool through third grade. (5 pages)
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The Power of K: North Carolina Position Statement on Kindergartens of the 21st Century (endorsed 2007) -
This NC State Board of Education-endorsed Kindergarten Position Statement identifies important characteristics of a high-quality kindergarten program. Key aspects of intentional teaching and learning critical to the success of these young children are discussed.
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NC Office of Early Learning Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Demonstration Programs -
NCDPI’s Office of Early Learning offers six kindergarten demonstration classrooms for observation and professional learning through funding from the Division of Exceptional Children and the Title I Program. These demonstration classrooms offer educators and administrators high-quality early childhood observation sites that demonstrate inclusive research-based instructional practices. For more information about arranging a classroom visit, please contact Carla Garrett (Carla.garrett@dpi.nc.gov).
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Developmentally Appropriate Practices Resources LiveBinder -
This LiveBinder defines developmentally appropriate practices for Pre-K–Grade 3 and provides multiple articles & resources that explore effective DAP teaching strategies. This LiveBinder can be used as an independent self-study tool or integrated within a collaborative learning experience (e.g. Professional Learning Community, staff training session).
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PreK-3rd Grade Resources, Prepared for the Listening and Learning Event: Understand PreK-3rd Structures, US Department of Education, US Department of Health & Human Services -
This document identifies key resources aimed to inform policymakers, educators, researchers, and others about PreK-3rd issues. (2 pages)
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Developmentally Appropriate Practice Webinar (June 2014) -
This webinar features Dr. Eva Phillips, the co-author of the NAEYC book Basics of Developmentally Appropriate Practice: An Introduction for Teachers of Kindergartners and Ready Schools Coordinator for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Dr. Phillips discusses the core tenets of developmentally appropriate practices and why they are critical to student success. The webinar then connects DAP to the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process. Updates regarding the KEA pilot and the assessment development process are also included. (56 minutes)
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Supporting Principal Leadership for PreK-3rd Grade Learning Communities -
NAESP’s “Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Practice” offers principals, teachers, family members, and others best practices, relevant resources, and indicators to guide new efforts to align early care and education with early elementary grades.
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FirstSchool - Frank Porter Graham Child Development School - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill -
FirstSchool is a PreK-3rd grade approach to improving early elementary school experiences for African American, Latino, and low-income children and their families.


Interpreting the Evidence

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Interpreting Evidence, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes how to interpret evidences of learning to guide instruction.
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Shopping at the Market Video -
Several children write a grocery list to go shopping at the class market. The observer can notice two different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (writing to convey meaning, labeling, naming letters, vocabulary use) and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
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Rounding Video -
In this video, a teacher asks two students to demonstrate their process for rounding numbers. The teacher utilizes probing questions to elicit students' explanations of the rounding process and discusses criteria for success as he clarifies students' understanding based upon the evidences of learning.
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Rocks Video -
A teacher reviews vocabulary related to a unit of study in science. The observer can notice two different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (school-related vocabulary) and Emotional & Social Development (emotion regulation).
Poor Old Polly Video Pic.png
Poor Old Polly Video -
Two children have selected the Poor Old Polly big book to read aloud together using pointers. The observer can notice three different domains in this clip: Language Development & Communication (book orientation, print awareness), Motor Development (grip and manipulation, hand dominance, crossing midline), and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
Drawing Writing Cutting Video Pic.png
Drawing, Writing, and Cutting Video -
Four children are sitting at a table working on various self-selected projects using scissors, markers, crayons, and paper. The observer can notice three different domains in this clip: Motor Development (fine motor, gross motor, crossing midline), Language Development & Communication (letter writing, drawing), and Approaches to Learning (sustained engagement of self-selected activity).
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Five Little Pumpkins Video -
Four children create a picture about the song, Five Little Pumpkins. They use scissors, construction paper, and glue to make the picture and count their pumpkins to see how many more they need to make. The observer can notice four different domains in this clip: Motor Development (grip and manipulation, hand dominance), Cognitive Development (object counting), Language Development & Communication (vocabulary), and Approaches to Learning (perseverance in a teacher-directed activity).
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Introduction to Data Literacy -
This free, facilitated course provides an introduction to data literacy. Both teacher and principal perspectives are included. It includes information on types of data, strategies for analyzing and understanding data, and processes for determining how these can influence instructional practices. In order to design effective instruction and learning environments, educators need to determine what learners know and effectively use evidence collected. This course aims to provide learning experiences that develop or enhance abilities to find, evaluate, and use data to inform instruction. (5 weeks, 1.0 CEU)
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Data Literacy in Action -
In this free facilitated course, the concepts of data literacy introduced in the introductory course will be explored further. The course introduces a data interpretation cycle that can be used to inform instructional decision-making and addresses the steps of that cycle in depth. (6 weeks, 1.0 CEU)
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Analyzing Evidence and Descriptive Feedback/NC FALCON -
This module provides teachers with an understanding of how to analyze evidence of learning and how to use descriptive feedback to reflect student strengths and weaknesses with respect to specific learning goals and success criteria. At the end of this module, participants will be able to: 1) effectively examine student work, 2) understand the differences between evaluative and descriptive feedback, and 3) enhance student learning through descriptive feedback. (1 hour estimated seat time and 4 hours total time)
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Data Literacy In Action Module -
In this free self-paced module, the concepts of data literacy introduced in the introductory module will be explored further. The module introduces a data interpretation cycle that can be used to inform instructional decision-making and addresses the steps of that cycle in depth. (1.0 CEU)
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Introduction to Data Literacy Module -
This free module includes information on types of data and strategies for analyzing and understanding data. Activities involve learning experiences that develop and enhance strategies to identify, evaluate, and use data to inform instruction. (0.4 CEU)


Adapting/Responding to Learning Needs


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Using Evidence to Guide Instruction, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes how to use evidence to guide instruction by adapting and responding to the needs of learners.
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Descriptive Feedback, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation explains how to provide descriptive feedback to students.
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Introduction to Data Literacy -
This free, facilitated course provides an introduction to data literacy. Both teacher and principal perspectives are included. It includes information on types of data, strategies for analyzing and understanding data, and processes for determining how these can influence instructional practices. In order to design effective instruction and learning environments, educators need to determine what learners know and effectively use evidence collected. This course aims to provide learning experiences that develop or enhance abilities to find, evaluate, and use data to inform instruction. (5 weeks, 1.0 CEU)
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Data Literacy in Action -
In this free facilitated course, the concepts of data literacy introduced in the introductory course will be explored further. The course introduces a data interpretation cycle that can be used to inform instructional decision-making and addresses the steps of that cycle in depth. (6 weeks, 1.0 CEU)
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Analyzing Evidence & Descriptive Feedback Module/NC FALCON -
This module provides teachers with an understanding of how to analyze evidence of learning and how to use descriptive feedback to reflect student strengths and weaknesses with respect to specific learning goals and success criteria. At the end of this module, participants will be able to: 1) effectively examine student work, 2) understand the differences between evaluative and descriptive feedback, and 3) enhance student learning through descriptive feedback. (1 hour estimated seat time and 4 hours total time)
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Introduction to Data Literacy Module -
This free module includes information on types of data and strategies for analyzing and understanding data. Activities involve learning experiences that develop and enhance strategies to identify, evaluate, and use data to inform instruction. (0.4 CEU)
Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 12.16.35 PM.png
Data Literacy in Action Module -
In this free self-paced module, the concepts of data literacy introduced in the introductory module will be explored further. The module introduces a data interpretation cycle that can be used to inform instructional decision-making and addresses the steps of that cycle in depth. (1.0 CEU)


Putting It All Together

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Communicating with Families, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation describes a two-way communication process between schools and families.
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Formal Parent Night, K-3 PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation is designed to share information regarding the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process with families.
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Putting It All Together -
This video provides general information about the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process and how it can be naturally integrated as part of the daily instructional process. Descriptions and examples of each of the Five Critical Components of the Formative Assessment Process are included, as well as suggestions for utilizing data during PLC meetings.
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Popcorn Themed Kindergarten Family Open House PowerPoint Slides -
This PowerPoint presentation is designed to share information about the NC K-3 Formative Assessment Process with kindergarten families.
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Popcorn Themed Family Sign In
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Popcorn Themed Family Reminder
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Popcorn Themed Family Invitation