We are halfway through the Book Study for Guided Math in Action by Dr. Nicki Newton hosted by Courtney and Sarah at Adventures in Guided Math. This we are focusing on Chapter 5 which is all about Balanced Assessment. Dr. Nicki discusses how pre-assessments, strategic ongoing assessments, and evaluative assessments are all integral parts of planning and implementing guided math groups.
Question 1: What types of pre-assessments do you use? New ideas?
Just like Courtney, I have struggled with finding an effective way to pre-assess students in math at the beginning of the year. I always give the district’s or textbook’s beginning of the year assessment, but that gave me little tangible information. After reading Guided Math in Action, I plan to conduct a math interview with each student. We are lucky to have minimum days for the first 2 weeks of school to allow for individual testing. During each student’s scheduled time, I will test their reading level and conduct a math interview and pre-assessment. I plan to use Ashleigh’s Diagnostic MathAssessments because she includes questions that address kindergarten through fifth grade standards in all of the strands of math. I plan to focus on the Number Sense and Addition/Subtraction strands. I love that each question is on an individual card, so I can ask the students to verbally explain their answers and I will record. I really hope this will give me a better idea of where my students are starting. I also plan to ask some of the interview questions that Dr. Nicki suggested to find out their attitude about math.
Question 2: What types of ongoing assessments do you use? New ideas?
I use exit tickets and other formative assessments frequently in my classroom. I definitely need to get better at recording the data from these ongoing assessments and using this data to form my guided math groups. I know that this will greatly improve the effectiveness of my guided math groups. This past year, I tended to leave my math groups the same for too long instead of changing them based on each concept.
Question 3: What types of summative assessments do you use? New ideas?
This past year, we were given unit assessments that we were required to give to our students and input the data online. There were often a couple months in between assessments, so this was not a valuable source of information. My teammates and I created assessments or purchased ones from TPT to give in between the unit assessments. This year, I would love to incorporate student portfolios that include their math goals. I need to find a manageable way to use the portfolios and update them regularly, but I know the time used will be worthwhile.