Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guided Math in Action- Book Study, Chapter 5

It seems like this is a topic that is always a discussion when it comes to education.  Is there any way to avoid it?  No, but there are many ways to assess a student's learning and growth.

Question 1: What types of pre-assessments do I use?

I think it is important to know where a students strengths and weaknesses are before beginning a unit.  In regards to math, pre-assessments are imperative.  Our corporation gives a test called STI, which I have been informed by other teachers, is AWFUL!  It is required by our administration, so we don't have a choice.  There is also a post-test.  There are given at the end of the month.  However, the teachers have stated that the tests do not always match the curriculum.  So, what can I do?

I think the first thing on my list will be to give the students a pre-assessment based on the curriculum we will be covering for the month.  I will be using Envision Math, so I will look into whether they have created a pre-test or if I will need to create one.  Since multiplication is a big component of 4th grade math, giving the students a test on multiplication facts will be something to assess throughout the entire school year.

Dr. Nicki Newton also gives other examples of pre-assessments, such as a survey about how students feel about math, a mini math interview, and a running record.

Question 2: What types of ongoing assessments do I use?

It is important to keep the groups flexible, even within the same unit.  Once a student has mastered the concept, they should be moved to a more advanced group.  There are many ways to assess students, but making notes, conferencing with students, keep running records, and using exit slips are the ways that I foresee working with the students.

Question 3: What types of summative assessments will I use?

I do not see anything wrong with giving an end of chapter test, but making sure to go over it with students and correct mistakes is beneficial to their learning.  I like the idea of the students completing a self reflection, so they can take part in their own learning.  I think this will be a good way to get students to self-assess.  I would also like to keep student portfolios so that the students have a folder for them to refer back to for their learning and achievements.  

Question 4: What new ideas have I gathered from this chapter?

I'm not sure that I have gathered any new ideas, but I liked how the chapter was broken into sections.  It is important to remember that students should be assessed constantly, but that it does not need to be a written version.

See you on Sunday for the next post!


  1. I hope that you find a way to make the tests you have to give worthwhile. Maybe they will lend to a great self-reflection or error analysis activity to complete with your students.
    The Traveling Teacher

  2. It sounds like you will do everything you can to know your students beyond the required tests. Self-reflection is so important, and I want to do more of this with the kids this year as well. :0)