Formative Assessment in Math

We teach in a time of assessment overload.  I feel like half of the time spent in school, especially this beginning month, is spent assessing.  My son, also a third grader, was just telling me that he always has tests:  math, reading, spelling, writing.  So, in an effort to see what our students have learned in order to inform our instruction and take as little time as possible, we use sticky notes.

At the end of our math mini-lesson we give the kids one or two problems they answer on stickies and we collect.  As students move to their math rotations we sort the stickies into three categories:  got it, sort of, not at all.  Then one of us (I co-teach) takes the “sort of” pile and the other takes the “nope” pile.  As students work in workstations we pull kids to reteach or reinforce the mini-lesson.  It just takes a minute or two and then we can target the students who need help, without reteaching students that already get it.Image 9-20-14 at 5.54 PMAs you can see from the size of the “got it” pile, rounding was hard this week.  I made a screen-cast of a rounding practice problem and included a link to it and some rounding games in our biweekly newsletter to parents.

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