Building Enduring Mathematical Understanding, one lesson at a time.

Made4Math Monday: Formative Assessment Forms

I definitely left some things “hanging” on my last SBG post, so I thought I would “kill two birds with one stone,” so to speak, and write about some of the ways I incorporate formative assessment into my daily routine.

A lot of people have written about “Exit Tickets,” and I guess, in a way, that’s what this is. I LOVE Sarah’s recent post at Everybody is a Genius (I’m not sure about everybody, but she IS a genius!) about the laminated dry erase ones 🙂 I think I might try that for my more “reflective” tasks to end the period, but I like the “permanence” of the system that I have set up.

Here is my:


Question of the Day
After we have spent a bit of time on a concept (but before it is time for a Mini-Assessment (Quiz)) I use Question of the Day to assess where students are at on a concept and us it to guide my instruction for the next few days. I will put up a slide such as this:


at the end of class and given them about five minutes to work on it. (Depends on the task.) Rather than just using quarter sheets of paper (or anything dry erase) I wanted to have a tool that I could use to provide feedback and also to have students keep as a record of their growth. I came up with the following simple “form”:

I print out four copies and then use the “booklet” app on our copy machine so that it shrinks it down and prints all four onto an 8.5 x 11 sheet. The original copy has more “space” on the top section because when it shrinks down there is an extra “gap” at the bottom of the page. This provides opportunities for 8 QOD’s before the students need a new sheet. They will store them in the “pocket” of their Math Notebook once they receive them back the following day. I use colored markers to write their number at the top so it’s easier to sort and hand back to color or number groups. The specific standard (CCSS) is written on the form, and we update scores on their Tracking Sheets (see SBG post) fairly regularly. When the forms are “full” students store them in their Math Portfolio – a hanging file folder in a crate that contains their tracking sheet as well as other “larger” formative assessments. Since there is only one question (ok, there’s usually two to three parts though) they don’t take long to grade and record. I can also “sort” the forms to create “Just for Today” seats (also on Sticks and Seats post) to either differentiate instruction or provide support for students who have not yet mastered the concept.

Writing About Math
I have students write in math class quite often,

20120903-130039.jpg but I haven’t always spent the time reading and commenting on their responses as I should. This year we are implementing the Common Core State Standards, and there are more than a few that employ the use of the verb “explain” or “describe.” I am looking forward to challenging students to meet standard on those in addition to the more skill-based ones. I decided to modify my Question of the Day form to use it for Writing About Math prompts as well.

Sometimes the prompt will be tied to a particular standard and graded/recorded as such, but other times I am just looking into their thinking about a concept and wanting a way to provide feedback.

Recording System
Since I record multiple scores for each standard (and multiple standards on each assessment) I needed a way to organize that information so that I can see the progressions of scores in each area. I created a “grade book” form that allows for up to four scores (more if I sneak in a re-assessment score next to the original) for each standard with room for three standards on each sheet:

Once I have my class lists I will enter them on a blank copy, make four copies of that, and again use the booklet feature on the copy machine. This time I transfer them to the 8.5 x 14 size, otherwise it shrinks down more than I want. When folded they create a nice size for up to twelve standards. I usually don’t have more than that in any one unit, so I create a new “grade sheet” for each unit. When I am entering grades into the online Gradebook, I just have to look at the most recent column and update scores that have changed from previous assessments.

Final Note: QOD and WAM are not always relegated to “end of period tasks.” I also use them at the beginning of the period. After I collect them we discuss possible responses. I am excited to use “My Favorite No” either when we do them at the beginning of the period, or the following day as a re-cap / remediation activity!


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