As an educator, could you ever imagine requesting one of your students who wears prescription glasses to remove them during guided reading instruction? A more absurd scenario might be requiring a student who uses a wheelchair for mobility to attend second-floor classes in a building with no elevator. These are examples of visible disabilities that are easy to recognize, and it is straightforward to address the student's needs. However, there are many hidden disabilities of equal magnitude that hinder student learning and are often undiagnosed. To have an invisible disability means that there is more to the student’s educational struggle than meets the eye.
Formative assessment is a teaching tool that supports all learners, but it is especially critical for students who are struggling, as it holds the potential for changing the learning outcome. It is a quick way for teachers to evaluate learning needs and academic progress in their classroom. Here are some examples of how formative assessment can support special education goals.