Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Formative Assessment

Hooray for Friday!  Last night I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about how I was going to update my math stations with Common Core Math games...that are fun. Since I love Valentine's Day, and I love creating V-Day classroom activities for my kiddos, I came up with this Valentine's Day Scoot.  The focus is single and multi-step word problems that address all four operations. I am slightly proud of the title of this activity! Are you ready for this...?
You can get the SCOOT set by clicking on the image!

I know that I told all of you I would be posting about a mathematics formative assessment strategy today...

I am going to keep that promise, but I have to be honest and admit that I over-planned for today and did not get to the assessment with my kiddos.  Confessions of a real life teacher :(  Unfortunately, I will have to push back the activity until Monday, but I want to go ahead and give everyone a preview of the strategy.  This is a basic technique that I use often to get my students communicating about math...

Pass the Problem

Pass the Problem is a strategy that allows students to collaborate with classmates to share and express their ideas and multiple strategies.  Students are able to become active speakers and listeners and are able to practice evaluating one another within mathematics.  First, students work in pairs or groups of three to respond to a story problem or basic algorithm.  Give students enough time to only partially solve/discuss the problem. On Monday, my students will work in pairs on the problem below (Click the image to get yours, free).
Give students 3-5 minutes to begin discussing and solving the problem, then call TIME.  When you call time, students will exchange their partially completed problem with another pair or group.  The groups will then examine the work that has already been completed, modify the work, add to the work, or change the work how the pair sees appropriate.

How does this method help students learn?
  • Collaboration and discussion allows students to come to a consensus of thinking with their classmates.
  • Students practice HOT skills while examining other students' work and deciding if they agree, disagree, or can come up with an additional way to complete the problem.
  • Students must discuss and explain why they chose to continue with the strategy or why the previous strategy was not working.
  • Students are required to provide constructive feedback.
  • Learners are able to make the connection that by showing your work, step-by-step, others are able to follow your thinking!  (LOVE!!!)
The discussion that you will hear throughout your classroom will blow your mind.  I am excited to complete this with my class on Monday.  We haven't completed a Pass the Problem since November, so I will get a chance to see how my students' have improved with delivering their thinking :)

Now I get to go rest for a few hours before attending a workshop tomorrow (Yes, on Saturday) from 9-3.

Enjoy your weekend :)


  1. Just found your blog through TPT. Where did you get this book from it looks great?!


  2. Alex,

    I ordered mine from the NCTM bookstore because if you are a member, you get a discount! If not, you can order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or anywhere really. It really is a great book :) Thank you for reading!