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Pre-assessment is used at the beginning of a new unit, sequence... This image shows us what it is used for and the kind of information it provides, but ... to whom?

When we talk about pre-assessment we usually have in mind how it can help the teacher plan the teaching and learning activities to be carried out in a certain unit or lesson. However, when taking it within the frame of a formative assessment approach, another factor appears: how we can use it to develop our pupils' basic cross-competences, such as learning to learn and think (or learning to live together).

And it happens when we make them reflect on what they DO and DON'T KNOW and planning the discovery path to follow together with the teacher and their peers, coming back to contrast the new knowledge with that previous knowledge and being aware of their own misconceptions and difficulties...

To help them (and the teacher) do so, we use several tools and activities as the ones mentioned in the resources section (some of them will be included in the assessment miniguide). You will also see that, in most occasions, the materials are presented from the point of view of the teacher: "what info can I get with this tool?" Our task would be to analyse it, as well, looking for ways to make the children reflect on their learning when using them.


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We have used the carousel brainstorming activity in the English seminar to activate our teachers' previous knowledge and reflect on this issue and the following ideas have been some of their contributions:
  • Related to previous knowledge
  • To engage pupils with the topic
  • It could be used at the beginning of the school year, unit....
  • It allows self-checking
  • By means of several techniques and tools (that will also be used as scaffolding).
  • Through interaction work (in twos, groups.... 1-2-4 technique)

We have also gathered some misconceptions/doubts to be dealt with :
  • Is it pre-assessment if we use it at the end of the year, unit...? How could we link it to Pre-Assessment?
  • Could mind-maps, models and checklists be used for Pre-Assessment? What are they used for? How could we relate them to Pre-Assessment?

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1.- How to use Pre-Assessment with students Natalie Regier 2.- 50 Pre-Assessment Strategies
Natalie Regier
3.- Differentiation & LR Information for SAS Teachers Carol Ann Tomlinson4.-Pre-Assessment Techniques: Montgomery Schools5.- Assessment Strategies The Knowledge Network for Innovations in Learning and Teaching (KNILT)

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