Book Study: The Formative 5

“Fennell, Kobett, and Wray make a strong case that when instruction is optimal, the concepts of planning, instruction, and formative assessment become virtually indistinguishable–they all become components of one seamless process delivering powerful instruction that positively impacts student learning.” Matt Larson, PhD in the Foreword to the Formative 5

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I’m just back from the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in Washington, DC, and I feel absolutely rejuvenated! So many powerful educators and thought-provoking sessions. It was just what I needed to land on a book to use for Book Study Monday this summer. This summer we’ll be studying The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom by Skip Fennell, Beth Kobett, and Jonathan Wray. I had the opportunity to hear Jon Wray speak about the book not once, but twice, and I was impressed with both the message of the book and the user-friendly format. Ongoing, balanced assessment is key with a Math Workshop approach to instruction, and this book fills a big void by presenting a palette of impactful formative assessment techniques. If you’ve ever wondered, “How will I know if they have it?” (and who hasn’t), this is the book for you.

This is an important topic, so I hope you’ll join me for this online book study.


Pick up the book and dive in! We’ll follow the reading schedule outlined below. On the six Mondays listed on the reading schedule, I’ll post my thoughts from the reading and update the reading schedule below with links to each post. Join in the conversation by adding your comments. Be sure to check out the prereading questions in the book’s appendix. I’m also going a little more high tech this time by including a slow Twitter chat. Once the book study starts, I will post questions throughout the week using the hashtag #Formative5. Participating is easy! Search on the hashtag anytime during the week to follow the conversation. Add your thoughts using the same hashtag. You can even check out the hashtag now and get an idea of what people are saying about the book. If you haven’t used Twitter for professional development, this is a great way to start.

Reading schedule

Get ready for a great learning experience!

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  1. I saw them at NCSM and bought the book during their session! I am so excited for this book study! Thank you!

  2. I bought it at NCSM and got them all to sign it. I would love to go through it with you. If I love it as much as I think I am going to, I may use it in PLCs with my teachers next year. See you June 11!

  3. I look forward to joining this book study. I will be waiting on June 11th with my future plans of supporting my teachers in August.

  4. I would like to participate. Will I receive notifications via email?
    Do you know if there are continuing ed credits available?

    Thanks, looking forward to it.

    1. So glad you’re interested! The reading schedule is in the post. If you are on my mailing list, you will receive an email the day I post about each chapter. No, sorry, it’s an informal study and not set up for CE credits.

  5. I would love to join this book talk/study! I read it last summer, but I woild love to hear other ideas for implementing!

  6. I’ve wanted to read this book for a while! I’m looking forward to joining in on my first online book study! 🙂

  7. Two co-workers and I will be joining in from Australia. Just ordered the books – hope they arrive in time. Looking forward to sharing learning and will be trialling Twitter as a PD tool. Very excited.

  8. Looking forward to this book study! I’ve had this book on my to-read pile for a while now. This is a perfect opportunity to dive in and since report cards are due at the end of this week, I should have time to participate consistently.

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