Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guided Math in Action Book Club: Chapter 5

I'm struck by how simple most of Dr. Nicki's suggestions are, and yet I never thought to do them for math. This book has really opened me up to show what a rut I've been in for math. I enjoy teaching math, but often do the same thing ... it can be repetitive.  But I loved the very simple idea of having a pre-assessment conversation before introducing a new topic. What a great barometer to garner right away!

What types of pre-assessments, ongoing assessments, and summative assessments do you use?
In the past, I've used pre-topic quizzes to help gauge where my students were with a particular topic, giving myself a better understanding of the areas I needed to hit harder than others, and the students who were stronger in a given topic than others. Like I've said in previous posts, my school is historically a high-achieving math school, so it's often that there is a wide gap between my high and low students in that topic. 

I've also used a variety summative assessments, most frequently the end of topic test. I like to make sure my topic tests have a variety of skills and testing styles: free response, word problems, and I always include higher level thinking word problems that I call "mathematical reasoning" problems. The students have to not only solve the problem, but also write about how they solved it. I'm looking for their thinking process. That's the most important. 

One of the things I also do when I pass out the topic tests is I attach an Error Analysis sheet. I adapted this from another teacher at my school, and I have to say, I love using it! Any student who scored 79% or lower (which at my school is equivalent to a "2" or "1") automatically has to complete an Error Analysis. Students who earned 80% or more can do it, but it's completely optional.

Each problem they get wrong requires them to do 3 things to change it. If they can do that, I award 1/2 point back towards their test score.

  1. They have to redo the original test problem they got wrong. They can do this with a partner, with their parents, with me... the point is that they get a chance to figure out their mistakes.
  2. Then they have to explain what they did wrong originally.
  3. The last step is for the students to create a sample problem, complete with answer, that is similar to the original test problem. 

I shared my Error Analysis sheet, for anyone who would like to use it.

What new ideas have you gathered from this chapter?
Like I said above, I will definitely be adding in the initial conversation piece and pre-quiz each time. I love the idea of surveying the students when introducing a new topic, as well as the student test reflection. Having the kids become more a part of the journey and self-reflective on their own learning process. I think these will be great additions to my math journals! I can't wait to try it out and see how the students do.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of your error analysis step for students. It really gives students a second chance to show that they understand the information and look at why they missed the question the first time. You really put the focus on learning.
    The Traveling Teacher