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LSI Formative Assessment National Conference

Virtual Sessions

PresentersTitleDescription
Daniel WillinghamEverything Scientists Know About the Teaching of Reading

A brisk tour of the scientific research on the teaching of reading, focusing on four components of competent reading: fluent decoding, comprehension, high reading motivation, and successful completion of discipline-specific reading tasks. For each goal, we will review pedagogic techniques that have proven successful with a broad variety of students and in a broad set of contexts.


We will also review popular pedagogic techniques that have a frail or absent research base. A cross-cutting theme will be that, although each of the four factors tends to be associated with particular grade levels, teachers at any grade should have an understanding of each factor, and can contribute to student success in each.

David and Meredith LibenKnow Better, Do Better - why it’s critical you know what your students know about foundational reading - early and often.Explore the imperatives of both informal and formal assessment when students are learning how to read. The research-based case for both regular, systematic formal assessment and in-the-moment informal assessing of student progress will be made. We will also look at why, in the face of compelling evidence of its value, regular foundational skills assessments are not done. The session will close with practical guidance on how to make both practices a regular part of your classroom and school.
David and Meredith LibenImproving Reading for Older Students – Two Concrete Approaches

A two-part session, each offering a system for supporting older students who are reading years behind grade level. First, research-based but lightweight supports will be explored that can be done during Tier One classroom instruction. These approaches can be implemented by teachers in any grade using Tier One instructional materials in ways that effectively bring more of their students into grade-level learning.


The second part of the presentation will look at integrated supports that can be used in addition to Tier One classroom work but would require drawing on support staff incoherent, research-based ways that serve older students reading years behind far more effectively.

Deana SennStudent-Led Classroom Formative AssessmentCreate a dynamic classroom environment where students track their own progress to learning targets through a student grouping process called Academic Teaming. Increase engagement, student ownership, and academic achievement through student-led formative assessment.
Dylan WiliamQ&A for District Leaders with Dylan Wiliam

District leaders come to this conference to build knowledge and to gain strategies and tools they can take back to their districts to improve student achievement. Our goal is to make sure you return to your schools with answers and fresh ideas that you, your principals, and your teachers can put into place in the upcoming school year.


This Q&A session for district leaders is the perfect setting in which to get honest and insightful advice specific to your needs and roles, straight from Dylan Wiliam. Bring your questions, specific to your district, for this great opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s leading experts on formative assessment.

Dylan WiliamQ&A for School Leaders with Dylan Wiliam

School leaders come to this conference to build knowledge and to gain strategies and tools they can take back to their school to improve student achievement. Our goal is to make sure you return to your schools with answers and fresh ideas that you, your coaches, and your teachers can put into place in the upcoming school year.


This Q&A session for principals is the perfect setting in which to get honest and insightful advice specific to your needs and roles, straight from Dylan Wiliam. Bring your questions, specific to your school, for this great opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s leading experts on formative assessment.

Dylan WiliamQ&A for Teachers & Coaches with Dylan Wiliam

Educators come to this conference to build knowledge and to gain strategies and tools they can take back to their classrooms to improve student achievement. Our goal is to make sure you return to your classroom with answers and fresh ideas to put into place in the upcoming school year.


This Q&A session for teachers is the perfect setting in which to get honest and insightful advice specific to your needs and roles, straight from Dylan Wiliam. Bring your questions, specific to your classroom, for this great opportunity to hear from one of the nation’s leading experts on formative assessment.

Dylan Wiliam, Daniel Willingham, Sue Brookhart, David Liben, Meg BowenNational Panel on Assessment: Best Practices for Early Literacy The nation’s foremost assessment & literacy experts will discuss the best practices and policies using literacy assessment to close the achievement gap. Participants will have the opportunity to interact and ask their questions of the panelists in an intimate reception following the panel discussion. Intended audience/designed for Policy Makers, District Leaders and Chief Academic Officers.
Jaime BaileyThe Journey is as Important as the Destination…Maybe More!

Focusing on Dylan Wiliam’s Five Key Strategies for effective formative assessment, this session dives into practical, hands-on ways for teachers to create classroom conditions where students self-regulate their learning, reflect, and act on feedback. Learn effective ways to use partner and group feedback, where students work as a group, not just co-exist in a group.


See how to use discussions and activities as strategies to elicit evidence of learning. Support students as they gauge proximity to the learning target and persist in monitoring and making adjustments to meet that target. Leave with numerous techniques to strengthen your formative assessment practices in the learning cycle.

Jay McTigheDesigning Authentic Performance Tasks Jay will present ideas from his latest book, Designing Authentic Performance Tasks and Projects (ASCD, 2020). This session will explore a variety of practical and proven tools for the development of performance tasks to engage students in meaningful learning and assess important learning outcomes that often fall “through the cracks” of conventional testing. A compilation of excellent web-based resources will be presented. In addition, instructional implications and the role of formative assessment will be examined.
Ken O'ConnorBest Practices in GradingThis session will provide guidelines by which teachers of all subjects can make grades accurate, effective, meaningful and supportive of learning.
Michael TothAssessing and Coaching Senior Leadership Teams to High Performance

A district or school improvement plan depends on a high performing leadership team to get results. Studies have shown a common denominator of higher vs. lower-performing districts and schools is how well the leadership team performs as a team. This is a critical factor in district and school improvement.


Learn the science of high functioning leadership teams including the critical conditions without which no team will perform well and how to relaunch a team into high performance. Learn how teams can use leading data to assess their own performance as a team and make adjustments to reach the team’s goals. The session will be led by Michael Toth, author, and CEO of Learning Sciences International.

Sue BrookhartLooking at Student Work: Feedback on Students’ Written Performance

Writing is one of the most common performance assessment tasks students are asked to do in schools. This session focuses on two main points: (1) the nature of the writing task or prompt affects what students write and what evidence of learning is produced, and (2) feedback on student writing should be based on the criteria you shared before the assignment and include suggestions for improvement.


Participants will discover these points by looking at and interpreting student work, giving feedback on the work as presented, and envisioning how the teacher could modify the task to get different evidence. Participants who wish to bring student written work from their own classrooms are welcome to do so.

Sue Brookhart & Jay McTigheGrading in a Comprehensive and Balanced Assessment System

What is the place of grading in a comprehensive and balanced assessment system? Four authors (Brookhart, McTighe, Guskey, and Wiliam) tackled this question in a panel discussion at the 2019 Formative Assessment National Conference and produced a white paper.


In this session, two of the authors will facilitate a discussion of this question with participants, based on key findings from the white paper and issues or questions from participants’ school districts. The goal is for participants to understand more deeply the role of grading in a comprehensive and balanced district assessment system.

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