Monday, August 11, 2014

Math Monday: Pre-Assessment

It's the first Math Monday!  I'm so excited to be participating and learning from others.  Thanks to Mandy at Enjoy and Embrace Learning for promoting more math conversations and discussions!

I was preparing for facilitating new teacher training in my district and stumbled across this quote from Rick Wormeli.

"DI is mostly about what we do ahead of time, not how we interact or conduct the lesson at the time.  There are some good aspects going on in the classroom, but that facilitation can only occur with purposeful and thoughtful planning.  I can make flexible decisions because I've already prepared the resources in anticipation of student needs.  Am I always prepared for everything? No way.  I get better with time, however."

In terms of mathematics instruction, my planning typically starts with pre-assessment.  I can only begin to plan instruction if I know students' strengths and areas for growth.  As an instructional coach, I had the opportunity to develop math pre-assessments with teachers.  Our purpose was to create formative assessment that would allow us to quickly gather information about students at the start of a unit and use that information to guide instruction for the unit and each lesson.  For instance, teachers wanted to be able to flexibly group students each day based on their understanding of the day's learning target.  At each grade level 1st-6th, we created an assessment, typically around 10 questions, to provide a snapshot of the unit's essential outcomes.

Developing the pre-assessments was critical.  However, as teachers, we know that sometimes we are "data rich, information poor."  Inspired by an idea from our Title teacher, we created a tracker.  This allows us to quickly input students' data and produce an instant visual that helps teachers to create flexible groups to meet students' needs.  Initially, we created our pre-assessment trackers in Microsoft Excel.  However, my district is shifting to a Google district.  Accordingly, it makes sense to upload the trackers into Google Sheets, which allows teachers to collaborate easily.  Here's an example:

Our pre-assessments and trackers are truly living documents that change as our PLCs dig deeper into essential outcomes and formative assessments.  But this has proven to be a very valuable jumping-off point!


1 comment:

  1. Annie thanks for joining Math Monday this week. I loved the idea of a pre-assessment just being 10 questions and the idea of a 3-2-1 tracker that can be shared with others. We can't be prepared for everything but we can always try our best.