Formative Instructional Practices emerging as cohesive tool

By Judy Summers
RttT Formative Instruction Practicies (FIP) Specialist

What is FIP? Or to be more exact, what are FIP?

Formative Instructional Practices (FIP) are the formal and informal ways that teachers and students gather and respond to evidence of student learning. Formative instructional practices are often called formative assessment or assessment for learning.

Formative Instructional Practices (FIP)

Currently in Central Ohio, 46 school districts have become FIP Schools with over 1,000 trained FIP facilitators just in this region. For more information, visit or contact Judy Summers at

Regardless of what term educators use, the core components of FIP include using clear learning targets, collecting and documenting evidence of student learning, providing effective feedback and encouraging students to take ownership of their learning.

Why Formative Instructional Practices?
The research is clear — using high-impact formative instructional practices can translate to significant gains in student achievement.

When teachers, leaders, students and parents understand and use formative instructional practices, everyone benefits. Here are just a few of the powerful things that happen when a school embraces these practices:

Students understand what they are learning and can practice without being penalized or graded, leading to higher engagement and motivation.
Parents understand what their children are expected to know and be able to do, making them better equipped to support learning at home and engage in productive teacher conferences.
Leaders model formative instructional practices and can focus their support and feedback on the common practices used by the entire staff.
Teachers see the immediate impact of their teaching and their job becomes easier because students are motivated and engaged in the process of collecting and reflecting on their progress.
Refining education practices are hard, but the benefits of using formative instructional practices are worth it.

The mission of FIP is to advance and support the use of proven formative instructional practices that accelerate student learning. The ESC of Central Ohio wants to make every school in Ohio a FIP School—a school that has embraced formative instructional practices as part of its culture.