Assessment For Growth

Module 1  Clearing The Path For Assessment For Growth5 Lessons

Module 2: Formative assessment Techniques Your Classroom Needs5 Lessons

Lesson 2.1 Two Formative Assessment Techniques You Need To Stop Using  Part 1

Lesson 2.2 Two Formative Assessment Techniques You Need To Stop Using  Part 2

Lesson 2.3 Providing Feedback That Drives Learning Forward

Lesson 2.4 The Formative Five

Lesson 2.5 Problem Based Tasks as Formative Assessment Machines

Lesson 2.1 Two Formative Assessment Techniques You Need To Stop Using  Part 1

Module 3: Standards Based Grading For Growth7 Lessons

Lesson 3.1: Helpful vs. Unhelpful Grading Practices

Lesson 3.2: What Video Games Can Teach Us about Grading?

Lesson 3.3: Transitioning to Standards Based Grading – Choosing Big Ideas

Lesson 3.4: Transitioning to Standards Based Grading – Choosing Scales to Measure Growth

Lesson 3.5: How Can We Use Portfolios In Math Class?

OUTDATED Lesson 3.6: Setting Up a Portfolio Using Fresh Grade

Lesson 3.7: Setting Up a Portfolio Using Google Slides

Lesson 3.1: Helpful vs. Unhelpful Grading Practices

Module 4: Building Time for Assessment4 Lessons

Module 5: How to Help Key Stakeholders with Assessment For Growth7 Lessons

How Can I Help Students Who Have A Negative Predisposition Toward Math Class?

How do I help high school students with growth mindset?

Ep106: How To Influence System Change – A Math Mentoring Moment

How Do I Convince Colleagues to Change?

Ep 74: When Do I Nudge and When Do I Coach? A “Where Are They Now?” Math Mentoring Moment

Partnering With Parents in Elementary School Math  Matthew Beyranevand & Hilary Kreisberg

How do you handle push back from parents?

How Can I Help Students Who Have A Negative Predisposition Toward Math Class?
Lesson 1: Why Assessment Practices Needed To Change
You’ll learn:
 Why past assessment practices are archaic and need to change;
 What our classrooms could look like.
Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › Lesson 1: Why Assessment Practices Needed To Change – Discussion Prompt

Lesson 1: Why Assessment Practices Needed To Change – Discussion Prompt
Posted by Kyle Pearce on November 28, 2019 at 9:48 pmWhat was your big take away from this particular lesson?
What is something you are still wondering?
Share your thinking below.
Val Lackey replied 2 months, 2 weeks ago 64 Members · 90 Replies 
90 Replies

Hi, my name is Stacy. I spent 11 years teaching 612 grade math courses until I decided to try something new. I am now an instructor at a community college in Utah were a teach College Algebra and remedial math courses. What I find the majority of my students have in common is a poor attitude about math (something I have faced before) and a lack of understanding of the basics (something I did not face before since I was their teacher for so many years). Now with the limited time of a college semester I am looking forward to using the ideas from make math moments to refresh myself as the teach I once was from the lecturing teacher I have become at the college level.

I think I found the perfect course for my goal! YAY!

Hi, my name is Mary Alice Ali and I currently teach grade 9 math. I started relaxing my rigid marking of assessments last year but it is this year that I am letting students rewrite assessments to show me they know and to incorporate other forms of math assessments such as projects. I started listening to the make math moments podcast sometime this year. And I am just happy I found the podcasts. My big take away from listening to Kyle today is that I am ready for change so let’s get started.

I know assessment needs to change in my grade 3 classroom. Several years ago my district moved to “common assessments” and a hybrid/rotational teaching model. This has not worked well for my learners…now I have a clearer picture of why that is. I’m looking forward to learning ways to make the necessary changes.

I spend so much time math talking with my students that I feel our conversations are more of an assessment than a quiz or test. I look forward to learning how to revamp my assessment practices to reflect our talks.

Biggest takeaway: Thinking about most memorable math moments. this would be a great activity to ask students at the start of the year, then again at the end. Interesting that most of their time they are negative. I’m going to use this as a social experiment with friends and colleagues.
Still wondering: Looking forward to diving deeper into the purpose of the mini course. Also, how to change my style into less tests and assignments, but at the same time that is what the board wants to see? Not to mention standardized tests. This change in assessment needs to happen globally, and to think locally might lead to discipline issues from the higher ups.

Pat I totally agree. Assessment needs to change, but how when parents or administration whats numbers. How do we put leanring into numbers to evaulate them. I teach high school math and what to make it more exciting and talkative.


My biggest takeaway was that the poor practice of ordering by assessment still occurs. :/ Math seems to be one of those subjects that has such a negative connotation. I hate that ordering by assessment just buries some of those students even further and pushes them away from the fun of mathematics. Math is fun. That is why we call it “Funamatics”, right? 🙂

I already let students correct homework assignments and they can retake test but not many take advantage of this until the end of a quarter when they see they are 23% from the next grade then it is a rush of homework corrections. I want this to be something students see as a benefit to them as a math student not just as a way to improve a mark in the grade book.

My big takeaway is that I need to lead a “rebellion” as to how we (teachers) are required to assign grades!

This is so timely as we transition to distance learning with no evaluation, only assessment for learning. I am excited to learn more how to incorportate growth days online.

I love the idea of using grades to push for growth, and studentdirected growth. This year, I’ve been grading only summative assessments, or recording bestofthree quiz grades, and I’ve been using formatives for feedback. Students have been able to do retakes, but it’s not been systematized, and it’s been on their time (which doesn’t motivate ALL students toward growth). I made charts for students to track their progress, but never found the time to use them.
In short, it’s been largely an unfocused scramble! I think I’m heading in the right direction, but I want a more systematized and methodical framework for next year.
Holly

An “unsystematized scramble” is where most start this process, so don’t fret!
If the goal is to use assessment to push learning forward, “summative” becomes a word you only use at the end of a grade or course.
Always remember, what students knew in the past is not very relevant for a summative mark now. It works both ways though – if they no longer understand the concept, does it make sense to give them a mark based on something they did 3 months ago?
It’s a big shift in thinking, but it’s great to see so many in this forum on the same journey with us!


I look forward to all of these lessons and modules. The teachers I work with must shift assessment practices and this should give some actionable ideas for making that shift.

I feel like many of us are trapped in traditional ways of thinking about assessment, even though they no longer correspond with our teaching practices. Teaching remotely is really going to challenge our assumptions around grading. I’m looking forward to the learning!

Much like the other participants have responded, I am interested to see how virtual learning and not having the high stakes testing at the end of the year will change perceptions. I have tried various things throughout the years to give students the opportunity to redo a test or quiz but it always get lost, either by them trying to keep up with current work or me not being able to reach back for them at times.
I love this idea of using assessment only to “drive our instruction to help students learn the math concepts better and with more depth” and finding ways to incorporate it in a workable way in a classroom. I would say that is the question I have right now, but am sure this course will give me more insights on how to do that.

That this is exactly what I needed to get better at and I can’t wait to get going!

I have seen this before in the MMM course. I have always used test/quiz data to decide whether to pivot or move on or usually both…part of class pivots with one teacher while rest of class explores. We already allow retakes of tests and quizzes but a majority of students do not do much better. Usually they do worse even with required review. I like the idea of only testing on the objectives of the test they got wrong and retesting by having students explain problems instead of having to redo test and regrade.

All teachers had hee same experience of evaluating final supposedly understanding of lessons rather than the concepts. WE never realised that students’ process of understanding of the concept was more important than getting the final answer to the given problem. Little did we know that our assessment practises was stressing them out. For other teachers for young learners, it was more of display of work for the soft boards.

Assessments keep changing and not always for the best. Although standardized testing is one way to monitor students understanding and knowledge of curriculum, it has also created stress for students and worry for the parents. I remember when we had no marks on the report cards in the elementary years. Less stressful for the students as the focus was not on marks but instead meeting the expectations. Some students sadly are getting brides or comments like if you get all A’s then we will get you a puppy …..

@natalievanwyngaarden Thanks for sharing. Yes, the bribing and external incentives may look like they work on the surface but are detrimental to students developing a life long love of learning. In high school I often hear students getting money for As!


The big takeaway: Right now, I am a little overwhelmed with how this will practically take form. I am eager and thankful I chose this as my first course with the Academy. I am thankful there are other educators that want to use assessment as a learning flexible tool! I have a deep desire to unleash the power of assessment for my students.
Wondering: How will this look like in my classroom? I guess I should keep watching and working thought this course! 🙂

@rebasalonek You’re so right that we need to use assessment as a tool. Too many teachers use it as a “stick” or end goal.
We’re ready to work with you as you develop what this looks like in your classroom.


Our school is in the process of shifting to Standards Based Gradebooks. We have been in the process for a couple of years and this year the actual change to gradebooks and reporting happens.
I’m nervous about the admin and the process. I’ve seen the merits of SBG for a while and even attempted to implement it in my own classroom on my own. I’m frustrated right now with the requirement that we use the language of the common core in our standards and group grades based on them rather than clear topics.
I’m hoping to find things in this course that will help me to implement things as the school requires, but in a way that is beneficial for the students. I’ve definitely always done most of my grading with tests and quizzes, allowing retakes that only benefit the few students that really push to improve.
I’m also nervous about my colleagues, we are a small school with only 3 of us in the department, and 1 especially can be resistant to change. She has GREAT teaching practices and a lot of experience and knowledge, but our styles sometimes clash.

These are all valid concerns…
You’re right that SBG is a great way to approach the assessment and evaluation process, but sometimes district requirements can get in the way. The one silver lining about some of their restrictions with feedback / reporting is that I think by looking / reflecting more on the actual common core standards, you might gain deeper insight and understanding of what they really mean. There are some interesting pieces to navigate (ie: ratio and rate reasoning… it’s hard to comment with that language if I’m not certain what ratio reasoning and rate reasoning is).
Another part is trying to find a way to align your practices with your colleagues. This might involve some give and take, which is super challenging.
Keep us posted on how things are progressing and how we can best help!


I am looking forward to learning more as I was a part of Assessment Literacy. We teachers were coached to learn the value of a well written test and then to teach our students what each of us can learn from the assessment.

I’m curious to hear what you find similar and what you find different as you continue along!


I am so excited. This sounds exactly like what I am trying to do in my class.

I’m always looking for ways to improve assessment so that they truly reflect student’s understanding. One of my challenges is reporting this information to parents through grading which I am required to do.

What does your current system for keeping parents informed look like?


Now that we do not have a textbook to hand out it is an opportunity to be creative with how we teach. This can be intimidating but exciting. I remember how I used to teach and I am looking forward to learning more about how to change my ways. I am wondering how much work will go into this new way of grading.

@reneetrad
You’re right to wonder how much work. I’m sure it will be “some” work as anything worth pursuing will require it….but it will be worth it.


We have used “Standards Based Grading” in the elementary grades for years and are looking to extend it to the secondary very soon. I say we are doing it, but some grades/teachers still get the grade to report from one assessment. I am excited for this course and the insights I will gain to help lead my district in the correct direction.

Fantastic! I feel similarly in my district… we have some who are taking this approach, but many who are not yet. It’s a slow process, but it will come over time.


I want students to understand, use, love and appreciate math. In the way we assess them we are not getting them where we want. current assessment practices create math stress and phobia. Change is a must at all grade levels.

👏 @salamlotfi We look forward to your journey around assessment!


Professionally and personally I have been entering into this space of reevaluating old teaching practices which were stale for me and stale for my students. Over the past few years with my own scattered research I have moved my classes to standard based grading so I am looking forward to seeing the model presented in the module. In addition, I already embrace the teaching methodology of getting students mentally and verbally engaged with their math activities but lack additional resources to create more events to keep students excited about math and learning. I am one of only two people on my staff that is in this process of change and I look forward to sharing it with others.

It can be so hard with so few “complete” resources out there that hit all of the different aspects of mathematics teaching – curiosity, sense making and following a developmental trajectory. It is really complex stuff.
Hopefully you’ll check out our problem based units to help you in this journey learn.makemathmoments.com/tasks


I 100% agree about the purpose of assessment. I wonder, do you think instructional practices have to/should change first before changes in assessment mindset? Struggling to get my teachers to get away from what I would call a more traditional math mindset of needing as many “at bats” as possible and “modeling” problems as our key strategy. I think teachers feel comfortable in it. Do you think that has to change before changes in belief about assessment can happen?

Great question, Chris! I’ve had some really good discussions with educators who believe that one should happen before the other. Chicken or the egg situation. However, in a perfect world, they’d both be shifting together in my opinion. It’s hard to do one of them well while the other is lagging behind in approach/practice. Since assessment and evaluation should inform our instruction, it might make sense to start there and think “how do I get them here? What learning experiences should we give them to achieve these learning goals?”


I have been working to change my assessment practices to allow for mastery of student skills over time rather than the set date I decided. I’m excited to learn more about how to use this style of assessment with my students.
What I am still wondering is, since it’s the middle of the school year, is it too late to change my assessment practices? Can I dive into this now?

Great to hear Carrie! I would make some changes now! Especially some of the changes toward mindset, like here in module 1, and also the formative assessment strategies in module 2. When you get to standards based grading you might be able to make some changes now (you’ll have to see what you could modify based on your current system) and think about how you’ll make those changes come next school year.


I am planning on using the information from this course to open up the discussion of students’ math strengths at School Support Team meetings. A group of educators have come together to support the growth mindset of teachers around students who seem to be not achieving in math.
What do we need to do in order to improve the discussion around how the student is showing their learning, and teachers are assessing this knowledge?

Great idea @laradonsky I’m looking forward to hearing how the ideas help support the work your teachers are doing.
I’m sure when you get to Module 2 you’ll see strategies that support eliciting student thinking.

Hi @laradonsky!
Growing Success is such a great guide for assessment and evaluation. Sadly, I feel that more than a decade after its release, many are still nowhere near implementing what is shared in that document.
We have a lot of district coaches, mentors and coordinators leveraging many of the resources from the Academy to help lead learning with their educator teams. If you’re interested in a district license so educators can continue the learning outside of your meetings, don’t hesitate to reach out!


I am wondering how to assess the math practices! These are so important–maybe this minicourse will address it!

All about observations and conversations! Keep on going and if you still have questions related to these ideas near the end, be sure to bring them up!


As a facilitator supporting teachers in the classroom I am constantly making teachers aware of some of the unintended consequences of activities like Round the World.
My biggest takeaway is remembering to always ask. Who is this activity helping grow a positive mathematical identity is it the ones who are already confident and who can articulate their mathematical thinking easily or is it supporting all students?

I like this take on who it’s helping @carolbutel ! I’ll be using that line in my discussions from now on!


To make sure that I use the assessments to point the students onto the path of growth and improvement. I’ll have to admit, testing and quizing is a way in which I thought helped me see where my students were at, but as a recently graduate of teachers college I know that has to change. I am hoping to gain a whole new level of knowledge on how to assess my students and use those assessment strategies to both engage and improve my students knowledge.

I want to cry thinking about the harm that has happened in math classes. Being a student who hated math, I think I understand more and more why I felt that way and how I don’t want to make my students ever feel that way. I’m wondering how it will benefit my students, especially my students who are typically underrepresented in mathematics. I’m looking forward to building more authentic assessments that really guide in instruction and support equity!

Many districts follow research in analyzing data through multiplechoice tests and I fear I am required to give such a test every 3 weeks. My takeaway is that standardbased assessments offer greater success and communicate a growth mindset, but I will have to figure out what that will look like in my classroom. I hope to learn some way to bridge the divide between traditional assessment and standardbased assessment so students still believe in a growth mindset.

Even just the wording – assessment for GROWTH – focuses on that growth mindset, and getting kids to realize that learning is a process. Not a onetime thing.

I have been doing Math RtI for the past 6 years and then was back in the classroom this past year due to budget cuts – grade 8 math and algebra. I keep encouraging students that gains are gains, but it’s so hard when they get that end of marking period grade that sticks. I feel like I’m in the right lane to begin this journey – albeit a little overwhelmed with where to begin. I jot down notes on student progress but haven’t found a good system for organizing that notes, formalizing them or spiraling back. I’m hoping this a good first step.

@pamela.brock It’s natural to feel overwhelm. Not to worry though as we’ll share a system and how to get started as you proceed through this course.


Biggest takeaway: Why does a grade on Sept 23 still effect the overall grade, if that student has improved on those concepts?
I wonder: logistically how to reassess and not lose my mind 🙂
I implemented what I call Evidence of Learning Portfolios and had students answer “big idea” questions each unit through a google slides. The Advanced category on the rubric required a connection, depth, or multiple methods. Some students did not like this, but I thought it helped push students to get past memorizing procedures. After grading students could come in for “closing arguments” where they could show me that they really did understand the big idea. This was a step in the right direction, but very time consuming!

Yes keeping sanity is key. I tend to put some of that work on the students and try to make some updates for a handful of students each day. That way it is gradual and unless a student specifically asks me to re assess something, I’m just constantly doing a bit of updating / adding to my learning log for a handful of students per day.


Hello,
I am Barbara from Poland, Cracow. I am preparing lessons for my classes for 6, 7 and 8 grades in IB MYP. 🙂 So… I am very curious about new methods of teaching and assessment 🙂
Regards,
Barbara

Hi Barbara! Welcome to the Academy! So happy to have you and always fun connecting with our friends around the world!


I agree that assessment needs an “upgrade” in the math classroom. I have been working on using Standards Based Grading for a few years now, but I still primarily use pencil on paper quizzes/tests to measure students. For retakes, sometimes I do one on one interviews, but this is very time consuming and is done before or after school. I’m excited to learn how to incorporate other ways to assess students such as observations during problem solving tasks. I haven’t been able to do this in the past and look forward to finding ways to do this.

The big takeaway for me: the test on September 23rd still impacting the grade at the end of the term.
Wonder: I already do assessments that students can go back and work on again, but I feel sometimes it’s a bit demoralizing for the kids. I want to change my assessment practices, so they don’t have that feeling and give me a better understanding of what they actually know and where we need to go.

I already believe that most exams and grading practices I am familiar with send a fixed mindset message and not a growth mindset message. I am excited to use assessments to encourage more growth and desires for better understanding instead.

My biggest takeaway is that I need to make some changes. After taking the MMMTM workshop, I was able to start making some minor changes that made a major difference in my classroom atmosphere and the learning. However, I got stuck when I still had to come up with grades for what was taking place in my class. I knew tests and quizzes were insufficient the way I do them, but I had nothing to replace them…
Wonder – How can I revolutionize the teaching and communicate grades at the same time? And use assessment to inform and make decisions and encourage students rather than just be a grade that gets put into the computer?? Looking forward to this! I wanted to do this workshop at the beginning of last year, but then the year exploded in my face…. So this will be very satisfying, I know! 🙂

My takeaway is that district plans for math education funnel us into the harmful assessment practices described in the video. I am looking forward to learning ways I can change that path for my students and create positive learning and assessment practices that don’t rely on summative data to assess learning progress.

My biggest takeaway is that there are so many harmful practices that create negative connotations when it comes to math. The practices with regards to achievement based grouping are outdated and research shows us that they should be totally eradicated. I am surprised that this still occurs anywhere.
I wonder how we shift the students’ and parents’ mindsets to where any assessment can allow for continued growth, how students can want to keep working towards mastery even when their current grade isn’t what they hoped.

I have been looking for better ways to assess students learning that is more accurate and less harmful to their confidence. I can’t wait to see how this plays out and what I can incorporate into my grading.

My big takeaway is that I need to reassess my classroom assessments in an ongoing way. What works in one period may not in another and definitely something to consider each year periodically. I have also been reading “Grading for Equity” and this has changed my mindset about the value of a grade/ score in a learning environment.

We need an easy system, not complicated for grading. It can be somewhat stressful when they pill up. Assessing even before you assess sound great, would love more ideas. Rewarding students as you see them grow on the way does motivate the learning. Even for those that just gives me part of the learning shows me that they are trying and should be rewarded for improving. I’m excited to hear more.

My big takeaway is the idea of developing a growth mindset for students and facilitating student psychological safety in the classroom. I wonder how best to shift from a point system to a standards based system.

I’m excited to learn more about “growth days.” I would also love to know more about students creating a portfolio or “proof” of their learning or progression.

I have started on this path and am excited to see how this course will refine my practice. So far I have level tests with increasingly difficult questions and allow retakes after test corrections. I also let student revise assignments but the continuous regrading has caused a logistical nightmare and allowed students to put less than optimal effort in and promoted pointgrabbing at the last minute of the reporting period.

I currently teach 7th and 8th grade Math. My big takeaway is more of a wonder. How can we get away from traditional assessments that the students and the parents will understand? Why have grades? I was a student who worked hard and was able to get a good grades, but I really didn’t understand what I was doing.

Key Ideas I took away from this particular lesson introduction include; grades should not be based in completion or participation, assessments should provide further information about instruction, assessment for power not punishment. I already only input grades attached to particular standards but my method for collecting those grades are still based on quizzes and tests. I would like to learn better ways to collect the data. In addition, I replace grades as students better understand the content but I fear that the students do not understand the connection between the grade change and growth of their knowledge…because I again assess with a quiz or test.

I am really looking forward to finding out how to do better assessments!

I’ve done a lot of reflecting on my assessment practices this year. We use standards based grading at my school but we do not have a strong or consistent culture between teachers, families, and students.

Changes in a school community can take time, but always start with one person who introduces an idea that the others can think and reflect on first. Maybe you’re that person?


My big takeaway is that I’m not alone in looking for something better, more engaging, that encourages kids to keep stretching and pushing themselves to deepen their understanding and build their fluency. As my district transitions to CBE/SBE, I am hopeful that more of the teachers I work with will join me in this quest.

Finding a person (or more) to head out on this journey with is so helpful and can go a long way to working through the nuance together.


I like how you said “assessment is power not punishment.” In my years of teaching I felt like the grade would get students more interested in learning or paying attention in class. But after years of trying to instill fear in students about grades or tests to get them to pay attention I realize I went about it all wrong. It goes back to first creating a lesson that simulate’s the hero’s journey so students are interested and engaged rather than scared into learning for a grade. I’m interested in learning about how to use assessments as a tool in giving students power.

I have been teaching high school math for 15 years. I have always struggled with assessment. The district in which I teach requires math teachers to have 5 assessments per quarter. And, our administration’s definition of an assessment is a quiz or test. I believe our system is archaic, especially in the way we teach in my department. Hence, my signing up for this PD. My goal is to incorporate what I learn and SHOW my fellow coworkers how different methods will help our students.

I am looking forward to learning more in this course! My big takeaway is how important it is to use assessments to promote growth in learning.

That we all absorb and learn Math (among other subjects) at different times. The new Manitoba Indigenous Education Policy Framework “<b style=”fontfamily: inherit; fontsize: inherit; color: inherit;”>Mamàhtawisiwin: The Wonder We Are Born With” outlines initial stages of learning as: ‘exploring,’ to ‘emerging,’ to ‘evolving,’ and ultimately to ‘embedding’. Therefore, what a summative evaluation does, is make a student stagnant in a certain stage of learning, and does not allow for a continnuum of growth, that often spirals in nature, providing opportunities to “fill in” areas that were not yet understood or “embedded” in that particular summative evaluation.

I teach 7th grade math and I have been looking for ways to change assessment. I have allowed students to redo all math work, including tests but, only up to a point. I would have a cut off date, thinking that after a certain time it was no longer valuable (or worth my time). At the same time I told students that math always build and they will need all of the past info as they move forward. My beliefs and practices are not aligned and I want to make that happen.