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Topic: Rich Assessment Tasks (RATs!)
Replies: 6   Last Post: Nov 26, 1995 12:57 PM

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Rex Boggs

Posts: 80
Registered: 12/6/04
Rich Assessment Tasks (RATs!)
Posted: Nov 23, 1995 4:07 AM
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Creating an interesting assessment task that gives the teacher a wealth of
information about students is actually very easy.

For example. take some standard (boring) area questions - find the area of a
rectangle with length 12 cm and width 4 cm; find the area of a triangle
with base 20 cm and perpendicular height 12 cm, etc.

These questions can be easily twisted into an open-ended problem that allows
for a range of responses :- "Find as many different shapes as you can
which have an area of 48 square meters. You must justify each of your answers."

You instill in the kids that it is important that when doing a RAT, they
must give the very best answer that they can.

The responses will include simple rectangles from the weakest students,
triangles from those with a bit more knowledge, up to tricky compound shapes
from very good students. The very best may come up with a circle that has
an area very close to 48 m^2.

Here is another interesting problem that involves areas of squares and
circles, although at a higher level of abstraction than the previous
question :- "Which fits better, a square peg in a round hole, or a round
peg in a square hole? Justify your answer mathematically."

Now you try one. Take this boring question and make it into a RAT. And
please post your question to the list.

Find the mean of the following set of numbers: 2, 5, 4, 7, 8, 2, 4, 3, 1, 0.



Rex Boggs | Visit SMAD |
| The Secondary Mathematics Assessment Database
Glenmore High School |
Rockhampton, Queensland |
Australia |

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