Formative assessments help to monitor student learning. The goal is to determine where a student is at developmentally in their learning and plan lessons that will help move them forward.
Summative assessments evaluate student learning at the end of a period of time.
Observation is an effective way to notice change over time and zero in on key skills that need to be covered. It’s also a great way to look for groups of students that all require the same reinforcement of skills.