Mountain Climbing & Formative Assessment

We work a lot in our class on formative assessment and thinking about where we are in our learning journey. I went to a professional development years ago that really challenged me to make the process of learning more concrete to my kids, and formative assessment came out on top when it came to daily application in the classroom.

I love helping my students realize that just because they don't understand something now, it doesn't mean they won't ever understand it-- it just may take some time and some practice. We talk a lot about how our brain is a muscle and how we all learn in different ways. If you're interested in some fun brain info (and gestures) to teach your kids, check out this post HERE.

As many of you know, I live in Colorado and am lucky enough to wake up to an amazing Rocky Mountain view each day :)

So I thought it was perfect to combine our beautiful mountains with the process of learning and came up with Mountain Climbers: Formative Assessment Posters & Forms:
Click the picture above to find them in my TpT Store :)
There are four levels- from beginner to advanced- and each has a fun title and kid-friendly description that help students place themselves in the right spot of their journey:

I post these in my class right next to our main white board and also made bookmarks (using the tutorial HERE) for easy personal reference:

The two pages I like the most from this packet are the forms that students use when it comes time to track their learning. Here's an example of one I filled out as a model to my kids when we were studying multiplication:

I had kids map where they were when we first began this unit (shown here in light blue). As we learned a concept, I would check in with them at the end of the week and have them map their current position of their learning (shown in orange). The day before we took the test, I had them map out any changes to their learning (in green) and then I sent them home with this sheet to use as an overarching study guide.

This form is available both with the fun graphics (like the one shown above) and one that is much more simple with just the level titles across the top. I have made both forms an *EDITABLE PDF* (woo hoo!), so you can type your objectives straight onto the PDF, make copies, and be all ready to go at the start of your next unit :) I have even used this just for pre- and post-assessment, just having kids check the box that fits their learning spot best. There are, as always, lots and lots of options for these types of forms :)

I have also used this form for more than just math. We used it in science when we studied matter, we will be using it for landforms shortly, and I will often refer to the different levels on our posters and bookmarks when it comes to various activities throughout our day.

If you're interested in this Mountain Climbers Formative Assessment Packet, it's available in my TpT Store HERE. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week! Stay warm :)


  1. What a wonderful idea!! I love that this gets the students really thinking about their learning and where they are, as well as showing them how their knowledge changes throughout the unit. It also looks like a great reflection for them to compare knowledge. So cute!!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

    1. Thanks so much, Kaitlyn~ I have found it to be so helpful for kids, and I think the adorable Scrappin' Doodles clip art helps so much :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. What a beautiful view :) I love this great way for students to visualize where they might be on the learning path of a new skill/concept. Great job, Stephanie!

    Fun in Room 4B

  3. Stephanie, you have a GORGEOUS view. I am so jealous!! I really like the way you portray where students are based on a fun, adorable scale - it gives students awareness of where they are, too, which is great!

    Miss V's Busy Bees