Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guided Math Book Study- Chapter 8

Chapter 8 was all about assessments and the importance of them in Guided Math.  There are many types of formative assessments, all of which lead teachers to a better understanding of where their students are along the path to mastery.

When we talk about using formative assessments to guide instruction, there are 4 main questions I think every teacher needs to answer about their students:

What do students need to know?
How do I know if they know it?
What do I do if they know it?
What do I do if they don't know it?

Without using some type of formative assessments, teachers will have a difficult time answering these questions and creating  purpose-driven math lessons. 

Along with assessments, Laney Sammons also mentions the need for descriptive feedback. Feedback should be:
- Corrective in nature ( let them know specifically what they're doing correct or incorrect)
- Timely
- Specific to criterion ( based on checklists or rubrics)
- Sometimes student generated

If students are given positive examples, rubrics, and goals on what is expected, they can begin to evaluate their own work- and many times rise to the occasion! Making students aware of their progress puts them in the "driver's seat" of their learning. They take ownership and personal responsibility!

To guide students into a habit of monitoring their own learning, I created a Student Data Notebook. Each child has their own that they keep in their desk. We record their progress on entrance and exit tickets, formative assessments, and effort on homework. 

By graphing their progress, they begin to see the their increased abilities on paper and take the process of learning far more seriously. We also use this data to guide our discussion in student-lead conferences.

To grab a sample, click here

The entire Student Data Notebook is on sale this week! 

Assessment in the Guided Math Classroom is assessment FOR learning- not always assessment OF learning. That destinction is important! When we assess for learning, we're determining where students are in their academic understanding and use that information to guide our small groups and math workshop activities. Assessment of learning is  more evaluative in nature. They most likely occurs after a unit, where we want to see if students have learned what need to know and how well they know it. 

There are a variety of assessments that we can use in our daily lessons that provide us with great insight as to what our students understand. Many of these ideas have been discussed throughout our book study this summer:
-Entrance and Exit tickets
- Observations in small group
- Conferencing with students individually
-Pretests, district benchmarks, etc

All of these can be used interchangeably to assist us in determining the next steps for our students. 

That's it for this week! We've got one more chapter to go, where we'll talk about putting it all into practice! 

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