Q&A #6497

Math assessment

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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 15, 2001 at 02:53:26
Subject: Re: Math assessment

Hello Shannon,

I agree with Ralph in that one way to improve students' success with the
short and extended response section is to give them more practice with these
types of questions and that there are several good resources commercially
available.  I'd like to share some of the things members of my department and
I do in preparation for our state exams, which we have begun to do in
conjunction with learning mathematical content.

Released NY Regents Exams are available to download from the following site:


We use questions from these exams (even though we do not teach in New York)
for warm-ups, tests and quizzes.  I tell the students these are practice
questions for our state test.  Sometimes the questions I choose are for
review purposes.  Sometimes the questions test a concept we just covered.

My chapter/unit assessments are cumulative.  That is, the chapter three test
has questions from topics introduced in chapters one, and two and "state test
questions."  This way they get used to being asked to do problems that aren't
so fresh in their memory.  (Note:  Daily assignments also have review

When the state testing dates near, we give "practice state tests".  We give
the grading rubric to the students to grade other students' tests.  Then we
discuss the rubric so that they know what is expected of them.

We spend a great deal of time working on problems that ask them to justify or
explain their answer or their process.  These take a long time to nurture.

Many of our students in our lower level classes also do not read at grade
level.  Therefore, we discuss the directions on the test and the wording of
problems to make sure that they understand the prompts.  Two members of my
department have gone so far as to share our practice state tests (we wrote
our own) with the reading teacher so that the students can get more help in
understanding what they are being asked to do.

Hope this helps.

-Jeanne, for the T2T service

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