As I watch students take an assessment this morning, I'm reminded of the advantage of taking assessments. One big advantage of the assessment is that students get to show off what they know by on their own. Another advantage is that I get to see how each individual student takes the test, and I am able to listen to the questions they ask. This helps me to better plan instruction and support for the following unit. Later, when I evaluate each assessment, I'll have even more information to use to better plan and deliver the math program to students.
Further, an assessment makes you take note of each of your students. Sometimes you find that the student who always has his/her hand up and appears to understand all the concepts introduced is actually struggling. At other times you may find that the quiet student who sits in the corner and rarely speaks actually has a really deep grasp of the material and is perhaps ready for greater enrichment.
It's important to give assessments regularly to students to assess how the program is going and how individual students are doing with regard to the content introduced. It's also important that assessments vary in style and format to give our many diverse students a chance to show what they know with their own talents and skills. Often an assessment menu approach serves this purpose well.
I want to rethink my assessment schedule and format as I review student work from this assessment. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts to share in this regard, please let me know..