As teachers, we all know that assessments matter. It’s important to check student understanding and provide meaningful feedback. After an assessment every teacher faces the same challenge…now what? Do I reteach the students who haven’t mastered the concepts, or move on so others don’t get bored and I can cover everything? How do I make sure all students learn all math standards with the limited time I have?
While there is no easy one-size-fits-all answer, there are a few ways to use your math assessments to help give students meaningful feedback and target your math instruction more efficiently.
From casual observations to state standardized testing and everything in between, students encounter a variety of assessments. While some assessments will be mandatory for your school, district, or state, you probably have some choice in at least some of the assessments given to your students.
The best assessments allow students to learn from their mistakes and delight in their growth.
In order for students to get any value from assessments they take, they will need timely feedback. Raise your hand if you have a pile of quizzes you’ve been meaning to grade and return but just haven’t found time for yet. (Yes, I raised my own hand.) We’ve all been there. We know there’s not enough time in the day to plan, teach, grade, record, communicate with families, and on and on.
For quick checks to make sure students are on track, Google Forms might be the answer for you. They are an amazing tool to help assess student progress frequently without being overwhelming for students. Google Forms are self-grading, meaning you save tons of time and are able to give students feedback in a timely manner. Kiss your ungraded-test-guilt goodbye!
While Google Forms are relatively simple to make, reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary. Math Tech Connections has you covered whether you want to try a FREE Google Form Quiz, pick and choose what you need, or get an entire bundle to cover all standards and use all year long.
With Google Forms, students get feedback as soon as they finish the quiz. They will see their total score as well as all answers, correct and incorrect.
Watch this video to see a student’s experience and how a teacher can view grades.
From your end, you can see a summary of all responses including frequently missed questions, you can see how students answered each question, or look more in depth at individual students. You can also download all of this wonderful data to a spreadsheet to analyze as much (or as little) as you want.
This allows you to quickly give meaningful feedback to individuals, small groups, or your whole class.
In addition to feedback, students should consider their short and long-term progress. Thinking about what went well and what needs to be improved is important. Students can reflect by thinking, sharing, or writing.
Here’s a FREE reflection sheet you can download and use to help guide your students.
- Use as an exit ticket daily and at the end of each week.
- Cut and paste the prompts in the cover of a math journal to use at certain times.
Use Assessments to Guide Planning
Now that students have completed an assessment and received feedback, you have the information you need to really get started. Many people see assessments as endpoints, but I like to think of them as the beginning building blocks to plan my next math lessons.
Let’s circle back to our dilemma of what to do with the information you get from an assessment. Most of the time you will have some students who have shown mastery, some who haven’t, and many somewhere in between. So, move on, reteach, or what?
If you’re running your math block with centers, you can actually do both. If you’re not using math centers, read this blog for tips to get started.
With centers, you can group your students based on their most recent assessment. Use one of your centers to either review, practice, or extend lessons from your previous unit. You can differentiate the activities for each group.
You can also use digital activities like Interactive Slides or Pixel Art that you assign individually based on student needs. You can read more about how to incorporate those into your math block in previous posts.
Now that your “when will I grade this” guilt is gone, get ready to take joy in the progress you and your students can see on a regular basis with Google Forms Quizzes! Click on your grade level to try a FREE quiz today.