Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guided Math- Assessment Chapter 8

I can not believe that this is almost the end of this book! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and blogging about it with this amazing group of educators!!!

I am linking up again for this awesome book study about Guided Math! We have discussed so much over the past couple of weeks. If you are contemplating using this process in your classroom then this is definitely the resource for you. Laney Sammons is amazing! 

Today our chapter is focused on assessment and how it is done during Guided Math. I have to say I loved the description of assessment at the beginning of the chapter. They compared it to inuksit of the Native Americans. These are manmade markers stacked in the shape of people and are used to navigate the tundra. Well, assessment should be markers used to navigate instruction. We need assessments to create effective instruction but assessment should not be the focus of our instruction. it should be a guide not the instruction itself!

We gather evidence throughout our math instruction. This evidence provides us with a snapshot of what our students can and cannot do. We take this evidence and we use it during our guided math conferences to create goals and to increase our students success and abilities. Assessment is merely a process that we use to review the evidence of student learning. 
Formative assessments such as checklists provide valuable information to students and their parents. It provides teachers with a plan to improve their instruction. Provides a starting point for differentiation. 
In order for students to be successful they need to know precisely what they need to work on and what they can do successfully. Feedback is so important. Assessments should never be given without feedback. I do not mean a happy face written on the test or a good job!

But one must remember that we can not assess students if we ourselves do not know what is needed in order to be successful. This is where checklists and rubrics come into play. these are great tools to use to insure the students are getting what they need!

Here is a copy of a checklist that I will be using during my Guided Math Conferences:

So assessment is important to navigate our instruction. But Feedback is important as weel!
Remember, Feedback needs to be:
* understandable
*related to learning
*about the math performance not the student

Also, remember that the students should be allowed to give their own feedback as well!

But before I end, I want to stress one thing, yes, formative assessment is important for instruction and so is periodic summative assessments but that does not mean meaningless testing and assessment is needed or tailors instruction. Another note: State Testing does not give the whole picture. This is merely a test. State Tests are not assessments. I love how the author explains assessments on page 244- "Assessment is more then testing- it is evaluating students' progress, their understandings and misconceptions, their ability to solve problems and to think critically, and their ability to apply their knowledge in new situations." and she also states that "Assessment not only keeps the students accountable, it keeps teachers accountable."

As usual here are a couple of questions for you to explore!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway and to go visit some other educators and see what they have to say about assessment!

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