Kindergarten and first-grade teachers striving to enhance their ability to meet individual student’s needs in mathematics have a valuable new tool at their disposal. Education Northwest introduces Assessing Mathematical Understanding—a comprehensive set of mathematics assessments that provides both cumulative data about students’ progress over time and in-depth diagnostic information. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for Mathematics, this field-tested approach helps teachers track student progress, identifies particular difficulties, and informs instructional planning.
“The kindergarten or first-grade assessments aid in understanding how students learn,” says Education Northwest’s Claire Gates, one of the product developers. “Using students’ responses to the assessment items as a guide, teachers can differentiate instruction and create learning environments that better support their students’ mathematical development.”
Available online for free, the set contains a guidebook, kindergarten and/or first grade assessment items, a diagnostics book, and student record sheets. Also available online are video demonstrations of teachers and students using the assessments. With these, teachers can see some of the differences in student responses and what the varying levels of competency look like when they’re scoring.
Using Assessing Mathematical Understanding, teachers can:
- Conduct individual assessment interviews two to three times during the school year. The one-on-one interview structure allows the teacher to collect data about student knowledge that is not limited to the answer the student gives, but also includes observations of the strategies and explanations the student uses.
- Document information on the student record sheet, which provides a cumulative report of mathematical progress.
- Pinpoint an individual student’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills in a particular concept area through the diagnostic assessments.
Education Northwest offers professional development for schools and districts that want to train their staff in how to effectively use Assessing Mathematical Understanding. Through a combination of customized on-site and web-supported instruction, participants will work in teams to learn how to use the assessments and what to do with the information gathered during the assessment interviews.