Support children's learning with formative assessment

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

What is Formative Assessment?

Formative assessment is an educational practice that has broad applicability and support. Research suggests that formative assessment can have powerful impacts on children's learning (Black and Wiliam 1998; Briggs et al. 2012; Kingston & Nash 2011).

Formative assessment is used to follow children’s learning to inform teaching. In other words, it is an assessment for learning (Wiliam & Leahy 2015).

Formative assessment helps the teacher to track what the child is learning, what type of skills are developing, and what to focus on next.


Why is Formative Assessment helpful in early childhood education?

There are many potential benefits when using formative assessment in ECE. Formative assessment can be used by teachers to identify the skills, capabilities, and strengths of learners. They can also inform teachers on areas of need or skills children are having difficulty achieving.

Teachers can then use the information for different purposes. Design appropriate learning tasks, boost the areas of need or change their teaching in ways that extend children’s strengths.

Formative assessment can also be used to document and communicate children’s progress to their families. Teachers can also use formative assessment to reflect on and assess their own teaching methods and lesson plans.

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor the child's learning and provide continuous feedback to improve teaching and learning. It puts the child at the center of their learning process and provides a better understanding of how learning really happens.

Documenting observations and the child's own reflections is essential in implementing formative assessment. Read more about Formative assessment practices in early childhood settings by NSW's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation.

Watch our brand new video: Kindiedays supports children's learning


10 practical tips: How to do Formative Assessment in class?



Children show with their thumbs whether they have understood or learned about the topic. This method can also be used when asking for children's opinions about something, for example, 'Would you like to learn about rockets and space?'.

  • Thumb up = I got it, yes!
  • Thumb in the middle = I don't know, I am not sure.
  • Thumb down = No, I don't think so.


The portfolio is a collection of child's works that have been dated and stored. The documents show the child's progress. Portfolio also includes the child's personal reflection about her learning processes and reasons for choices. For example: Why did you paint the sky red?. Portfolio also helps the child herself to realize what she has been learning all year long.


The teacher observes children in the classroom and collects information about the children's learning, progress, and ways of learning.


The teacher tells facts about the present topic for example traffic rules, and the children need to point out the wrong ones. For example, I can cross the road when I see the red light" and the children yell "WRONG ANSWER!". With this method, the teacher can assess do the children know the right answers.


The teacher can have a chat with each child. Ask for example what the child has learned, what has been easy, what he would like to learn next and what has been difficult. Based on the answers, the teacher can plan the next steps in his/her teaching.


How Kindiedays helps with Formative Assessment?

Kindiedays is a platform for collecting observations, documents, notes, and the child's reflections. Kindiedays app provides the space to follow a child's learning continuously.

Watch our brand new video: Kindiedays supports children's learning

You can connect the learning documents with pre-installed pedagogical objectives or use your own objectives that reflect your curriculum.

All observations are automatically saved in an individual portfolio. This provides valuable feedback on each child's unique development, interests, strengths, and needs. The collected learning data visualize progress and provide insightful information to support the children's learning.

Automatically generated indicator reports help teachers identify the children's strengths, as well as target areas that need more practice. The reports support teachers to better understand what works and what doesn't.

Kindiedays enables parents to follow their own child's learning journey. Through family engagement, partnerships are created that have a common focus - helping children grow and thrive.

Kindiedays also supports the educators in formative assessment of specialized lessons plans and pedagogical objectives such as STEAM, language, coding, etc. Portfolios help to ground children's learning in a sense of progress.

Praise the journey of learning, not the results!

Happy learning journeys to y'all!

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