Formative assessment lessons from the Shell Center website always begin with a lesson pre-assessment. This assessment is to be taken by all students as they work completely alone to complete as much as possible. I let my students know that the assessmentâ¨questions are meant to be unique so that I can see their thinking as they workâ¨to answer the questions. The assessmentâ¨is not a grade in the grade book but instead a piece that lets me see what theyâ¨understand before completing an activity that will help them to perform betterâ¨on the assessment piece when it is taken again in a few days. This working alone to solve unique problemsâ¨ties to math practice standard MP1 – make sense of problems and persevere inâ¨solving them. Give students about 15-20 minutes to workâ¨without asking you or other students for help. â¨I do allow students, however, to use tracing paper, rulers, orâ¨protractors as they have need. I put allâ¨the supplies in the front of the room and allowed them to take what they neededâ¨as they worked through the pre-assessment. â¨Allowing students to use supplies directly connects to math practiceâ¨standard MP5 – use appropriate tools strategically.
All the details of theâ¨ pre-assessment are located within the lesson plan, pages T1 – T3, T8, and S1-S2â¨at the following link: http://map.mathshell.org/materials/download.php?fileid=1368 The Shell Center is always revising andâ¨improving the lessons, so it is recommended that you always pull lesson materialsâ¨from the website and resist the urge to download them all to the flash driveâ¨for use year after year. The main lessonâ¨homepage is located at http://map.mathshell.org/materials/lessons.phpâ¨.
Environment - creating cooperative groups
â¨I like to give the pre-assessment atâ¨least a day in advance of beginning the activity because I use theâ¨pre-assessments to look for common misconceptions among my students and Iâ¨develop guiding questions to ask throughout the activity that will addressâ¨these common problems. The lesson planâ¨has some suggested questions on page T3 of the lesson guide. I also use the pre-assessments to groupâ¨students for the collaborative activity. â¨I use partnerships for the activity and I group students homogeneouslyâ¨meaning, if two students struggled with the same content on the pre-assessment,â¨then I put them together as partners. â¨Sometimes, I group students who answered the same questions correctlyâ¨through using two different processes and I want them to share their uniqueâ¨thinking with their partner. My goalâ¨with strategically grouping students is to put together groups who will work atâ¨the same speed, and work together to grapple with the same math content so theyâ¨will learn together. I do not want toâ¨group students where one student knows everything and the second is extremelyâ¨dependent or lazy.