Summative assessments compare what students know to what they are expected to learn; this is traditionally determined through unit tests, report cards and state or national test scores. Formative assessment is ongoing and occurs during the instructional process. The formative process requires student participation and feedback; suggestions are made, goals are set, and students learn how to ask questions, and reflect on problems - ideas - decisions and conclusions. Teachers adjust as students engage. Misunderstandings are excellent opportunities for students and teachers to make corrections and introduce new concepts.

Authentic assessment reveals what students know and understand about solving real world problems. Gifted/ high ability learners should be expected to provide reasons, explanations, propose solutions, and be able to test their hypothesis and reflect while engaging authentic problems.

Authentic experiences include:

Apprenticeships - Mentorships - Peer to Peer interaction - Independent Projects and Research

Authentic forms of assessment promote self-reflection and include:

Portfolios - Learning Logs - Journals - Learning Contracts - Rubrics, Checklists - Peer-Peer or Student Teacher Conferences

Portfolios :

Are a collection of key artifacts over time that can be exchanged and updated

Portray student interests, strengths and weaknesses

Promote self-reflection and metacognition

Provides a sense of ownership and accomplishment

Portfolios: Online Sources

Math -


Serve as evidence of student opportunity and performance

Promotes and enhances organizational skills and metacognition.

Entries are a log of events, ideas, observations that include detailed descriptions, tentative explanations, articulation, speculation and judgment.

Is a formative assessment tool that teachers can respond to regarding student needs; what ideas are understood or misunderstood.

Journals can be used as pre-writing tools and as a forms of assessment across all subject

Direct assessment of student journals should be limited.

Online Sources

TESL journal article Teaching English as a Second Language ( Google Search)

The University of Texas at Arlington/ How to Write a journal

Smith, Mark (1999, 2006), 'Keeping a learning journal', the encyclopaedia of informal education

Purpose of and Evaluating Journals

Research Article

Karnes, F, & Bean, S. (2005). Methods and materials for teaching the gifted. Prufock Press Inc. Waco Texas.


Generated by teachers alone or in cooperation with students

Product expectations need to be identified.

Students can be provided product examples.

A scale for each component must be set

Online Sources

Learning Contracts

Joint agreement between teacher and students pertaining to learning outcomes what-how much-when etc.

Online Sources:


Pugh, S. (1999). Developing a Foundation for Independent Study. Gifted Child Today Magazine, 22(2), 26-31,52-53.

Caraisco, J. (2007). Overcoming Lethargy in Gifted and Talented Education with Contract Activity Packages: "I'm Choosing to Learn! Clearing House: A Journal Of Educational Strategies,Issues And Ideas, 80(6), 255-260.

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