ICTM Session: Assessment in the Common Core Era

If the meaning of a grade is to show understanding of math, then...

The power to change is not our alone. We are a distant third. Parents are ultimately responsible for their child's education. At the middle school level, he gives homework and posts all work and solutions. HW is not graded but is recorded and students are expected to Check, Correct, and Reflect. They copy four random hw problems onto a form where he has already copied the work and solutions on back. They must check, correct their mistakes, and write a reflection statement on what they understand or don't. Homework solutions are posted for parents to see.

The most powerful thing you can do in your district is establish a consistent vision of assessment. Not identical practices but a consistent vision that is both valid and reliable.

There is no correlation between participation and understanding. You can have someone who answers all the time and understands nothing and someone who never speaks and understands everything. Completion grades measure effort, which is valuable but it does not measure understanding. It's formative, not summative.

Any assessment that leaves your room is no assessment at all. Homework, when given the correct work and solutions, is no longer a valid measure of understanding but of the ability to copy. What happens if you don't do the homework? Nothing! Natural consequences will follow. Record homework completion rates and write them on their tests. Ask if they notice any correlation. Homework should not take more than 20 minutes. After that point, stop. Math homework shouldn't cause family friction!

Quit giving zeroes for cheating or late work. Late work does not affect understanding. It's an organizational or life skill but not a measure of understanding math. Giving a zero for cheating still doesn't tell you what they understand. Make them take it again.

Quit giving "pop" quizzes. Have you ever heard of a "pop" basketball game? Give a practice quiz instead of a pop quiz. Prior knowledge test > pre-test.

You need a preponderance of data points. He uses quizzes, tests, quarter project, quarter exam, and mastery tasks which are application problems. Students are given a pre-test of every unit and a preview of the quarter exam. Are your assessments valid and reliable? Every Common Core standard is either conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, or application. Are you assessing what the standard is asking for? If it is enrichment or below grade level then it is not addressing the standard according to the "focus" of the CC.

Presented by Mr. Eric Bright (files)

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