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Formative assessment is any assessment that is used to improve teaching and learning. Best-practice formative assessment uses a rigorous approach in which each step of the assessment process is carefully thought through.

For the best results, teachers can work together to interrogate the curriculum and use their professional expertise and knowledge of their students to outline a learning continuum including a rubric of measurable, user-friendly descriptions of skills and knowledge. Once this planning work is completed and there is explicit detail about what progress might look like in their classroom, teachers can draw on this learning continuum and rubric to collect evidence of what students can say, make, write or do and make decisions about what to teach next.