As a classroom teacher I was always looking for quick and easy ways to monitor my students’ understanding. I didn’t want to constantly conduct a formal assessment to see where each child was at. Of course there was a time for privacy folders, a quiet room, and a test, but that wasn’t the case for every single day.
One year I developed a Math Assessment Binder that had 40 quick assessments. One thing I stood by then that I still stand by today is students don’t need to answer 50 questions to show me that they do or do not understand a concept. I can easily check for understand with just a handful of problems. My Math Assessment Binder helped me do just that.
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Here’s how I set up my binder. I got a regular notebook and a set of page protectors.
I slid each quick math assessment inside of the page protector and kept a thin dry erase marker on hand. This binder stayed at my teacher table for math small groups and stations.
Using the Binder
How did I use the binder and the assessments? Well, I called students back to my table either individually or during a math station rotation. If we were studying coins that week, I gave the student a dry erase marker and went through one of the counting coin sheets. If you notice below I even have two students working at one time. One student was identifying the coins and one student was counting a selection of coins. I was able to easily differentiate and notice within seconds if the students understood the concept or not. I could reteach the skill immediately after the quick assessment. I always asked myself:
- Do I need to clarify the content?
- Do I need to present the information in a new way?
- Would this student benefit from concrete or pictorial models?
- How can I communicate the content more clearly?
- What part of the content does the student understand?
- What part of the content does the student not understand?
It didn’t take pages of worksheets or a stapled assessment for me to know if my students were grasping a math concept. It took a matter of minutes.
Keep it Easy. Keep it Simple.
I think a lot of times as teachers we overcomplicate things. We want all the bells and whistles. And it truly comes from a good place. We just want our students to succeed. With the Math Binder I just kept things simple. I always had it on hand. I could pull it out at any given moment. I didn’t need to make class sets of every single page. I didn’t always need a grade in the grade book. Sometimes I just needed to see right then and there if there was concept mastery or not. And the Math Assessment Binder provided just that!
Try the Binder Out!
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