Monday, October 19, 2015

Math Assessment: Show Me What You Know

We started the math year with a unit focused on review of foundation concepts, vocabulary, math tools, resources, and landmark numbers. That unit could have lasted a year, but it's time to dig into the new concepts of fifth grade now so I'm giving students an assessment to see what they learned during the first unit.

This assessment will give me a good idea of what concepts everyone grasped and what concepts only a few grasped. It will also give me an idea of how students use the structure and processes we reviewed. I'll get a good idea about their comfort level with the new vocabulary as well.

Before students take the assessment, I'll first thank them for their terrific attention and effort during the first weeks of school. I'll also remind them that an assessment is a chance to "show what you know" and that they should "show off" their knowledge with careful attention to precision, neat work, and stretching to demonstrate all that they know about the questions and topics posed.

Further, I will tell them that this assessment will help me to teach them well as I'll be able to see what they know well and what still needs more teaching. I'll also say that the tests will be added to their showcase portfolio and shared with family members during next week's parent conferences.

This is the first class program assessment which offers different information than the standardized tests as this test also tests me and lets me know what teaching they absorbed with strength and what teaching had less effect. I'll use this assessment to refine my teaching because I'll be able to see where the efforts were strong and effective and where the efforts need change.

Assessment is an important part of the overall math program, a part that calls students to "show what they know."