Teaching Learning Leading K-12

Episode 13: Formative Instructional Practices with Kelli Harris Wright GADOE

March 6, 2014


Kelli is a recently retired public educator. She was a special education and general education teacher. She also served in many different capacities within public school systems. Her most recent role, prior to retiring and going to work for the Georgia Department of Education, was as the Director of K-12 Teaching and Learning for a large Atlanta school district. She now oversees the FIP or Formative Instructional Practices program which falls under the Division for Assessment and Accountability at the DOE.

FIP is based upon the work of Rick Stiggins, Jan and Steve Chappuis, and Judith Arter.  According to Kelli, “It focuses on the formal and informal methods that teachers and students collect information about student learning. It is about the use of the information that is collected.”

Formative Assessment helps teachers to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their students. The collected information then enables the teachers to modify their instructional practices to address the needs of the kids.

One aspect of this program is that the teachers learn how to create learning targets based upon the standards for the unit content. These help the teacher understand what it is that needs to be taught.

Formative assessment is purposeful. The teacher creates activities that provide information about the understandings of the students. As a result, these activities typically are not graded and should not be graded. It shows what the students know or don’t know therefore, a grade cannot be administered.

The actual training for teachers happens through professional learning networks, overview sessions, and on-line modules. There are five on-line modules for teachers.

1.        Overview of the Research about Formative Assessment

2.        Learning Targets

3.        Ways to Collect Evidence of Student Learning

4.        Analyzing the Evidence of Student Learning/ Effective Feedback

5.       Student Ownership of Learning/Peer Feedback

There are two additional modules: One for leadership personnel and another for coaches and teacher leaders.

Kelli recommends three books to help with understanding formative assessment:

Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning

Jan Chappuis, Pearson Assessment Training Institute

©2010 • Pearson • Paper, 272 pp

Published 03/01/2009

Assessment Balance and Quality: An Action Guide for School Leaders, 3/E

Steve Chappuis, Carol Commodore, Rick J. Stiggins, Pearson Assessment Training Institute

 Pearson • Paper, 240 pp Published 03/02/2010


Formative Assessment and Standards-Based Grading

       Robert J. Marzano, Publisher: Marzano Research Laboratory

      November 11, 2009


You can find more information about Georgia’s use of FIP at www.gadoe.org/fip or simply google Georgia FIP.

You can contact Kelli at

 Phone: (404) 463-5047

Fax: (404) 656-5976

Email: Kharris-wright@doe.k12.ga.us

Length 34:09

Play this podcast on Podbean App