Thanks to its partnership with publisher Eye on Education, EducationWorld is pleased to present this assessment strategy from Using Formative Assessment to Drive Mathematics Instruction in Grades 3-5, by Christine Oberdorf and Jennifer Taylor-Cox. The formative assessments and analyses within the book help ensure that students are meeting and exceeding the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.
The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics call upon students to:
Students will likely be at different points along the continuum to grasping these concepts, and formative assessment is necessary to determine what students are comfortable with and what concepts they may need additional support to understand.
What is Formative Assessment?
Formative assessments are employed to measure student performance so as to provide a targeted instructional response. Monitoring student learning through formative assessments provides a gauge, pinpointing where students are on the pathway of acquiring new knowledge. Their performance on these assessments provides work samples to analyze. The samples enable us to see where students are in comparison to where they need to be to meet the standard. Only through this process are we equipped to provide an effective and meaningful instructional response.
Traditional formative assessments may be limited in terms of what they ask of students, and so there are potential shortcomings regarding the information that we are able to ascertain from the formative assessment. The enhanced formative assessments in Using Formative Assessment to Drive Mathematics Instruction in Grades 3-5 are designed to elicit responses offering more insight into student understanding and remedy the limitations associated with the traditional assessment.
This sample formative assessment below, and the accompanying enhanced formative assessment, is designed to shed light on an elementary school student's grasp of the aforementioned Common Core State Standards by determining their ability to understand algebraic thinking, problem solve and reason effectively. (See sample answers and analyses). After students have completed the assessment, use this rubric to analyze their responses and determine your next steps.
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