ASSESSING FOR GROWTH IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN RANKING

ASSESSING FOR GROWTH IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN RANKING

We have a formative assessment every Friday. One week it’s a team test and the next it’s an individual test. The team tests consist of low floor, high ceiling tasks that the teams struggle together on. They are done using my 3 read answer system which helps shift the focus from answer getting to problem solving (see other article). The individual test has a mixture of problems with at least one task using the 3 read system. I try to craft them so that time is not an issue. I create a rubric on Google Slides and each student then corrects their own test at the end of the same class in which they took the test. This gives them instantaneous feedback on their work. Points are awarded for each step that demonstrates a different mathematical understanding with the answer being just a small part of that. For Team tests I curve them in such a way that every team has the ability to find success as long as they put in the effort. Individual tests, on the other hand, are entered in Google Classroom as a straight percentage, but this score isn’t fixed.  Students get to come in before or after school, during lunch or Saturday school to redo every problem until they achieve mastery on it. Once they have mastered that deeper understanding they get full credit. Students that have gotten a D or an F in pretty much every math class they have ever taken for the first time have a pathway to an A. This is important to them for many reasons, their Mindset not being the least. Success breeds success and they want to feel that success again. What is important to me is that they are gaining that deeper mathematical understanding. While I am still polishing out the bugs in this system I can’t begin to explain how transformative this has been to my students so far.