Q&A #1190

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Standardized math assessment for primary students

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From: Sue

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2006080921:25:11
Subject: Re: Re: Math assessment that pinpoints a student math level

I have been doing a lot of work in the northeast on math, problem
solving and developing assessment which aligns with State and Local
Grade Level Expectations (GLE's).  Personally, I don't feel that there
is such a thing as pinpointing a "grade level" in math. Students work
at very different levels and have very diverse levels of knowledge
about math.  What you can do is develop really good assessments that
test what your students know and are able to do.  With that
information, you plan your instruction from their starting point.  It
is possible, for instance to group some students based on their
specific needs, say, for instance, if you have 5 students who need
work in identifying time to the 1/2 hour. Here we call that
"differentiated instruction."

So, in a nutshell, assessments should give you a lot of information
about your students, but you really can't get one "level" from it. 
What has become our BIBLE here in New England are the Grade Level
Expectations.  This document tells us exactly what students need to
know and do by the end of each grade level.  You can try going on to
Rhode Island Department of Education or Vermont's Department of
Education.  You may be able to print a copy of these lengthy doc's
 from their websites.  We in RI, MA and VT are doing some pretty cool
stuff!  Good luck and I hope this helps.

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