Prior to giving any formal looking assessment, I always have a brief discussion with students about the purpose of assessments. For this group of students that is in an environment which still has a lot of standardized testing, it's important that they know that these are but one measure of their ability and that, in my classroom at least, their primary purposes is to help me know what and how to teach!
I do not use necessarily use this Rounding Assessment as a “final grade” and all students do not take all parts of the assessment. Based on prior formatives and teacher observations, I have students complete only the necessary sections. For example, there were a handful of children in my class that could round to the closest ten and hundred before I’d taught a single lesson. There is no reason to continually assess them on what they already know.
A purpose for this assessment is a convenient snapshot of student skills and ability to explain their reasoning. Sometimes administrators and parents cannot easily access information from a teacher checklist, anecdotal notes, or rubrics and this format may seem to them to be a more friendly/familiar way to see evidence of their child’s progress in their understanding of how and why to round to the closest ten or thousand.
In my class, what worked well was to have students work on this assessment task for about 50 minutes. Students who finish early get to choose from a number of independent math activities, including basic fact practice or addition and subtraction with regrouping.
I save them, record the information, continue to assess and reassess, often informally, and then all of that data is what I use to report standards mastery on report cards.
Here are some examples of student work and my thoughts about their levels of understanding:
When the test is over, I give them a short stretch break. I tend to do things such as this:
"Pretend you are snorkeling for this many strokes across the ocean - 7 x 5"
"Walk through deep snow. There is a hard, crunchy layer of ice coating the top so you need to step like this (I demonstrate) very deliberately, or you might get stuck or fall over like this (demonstrate) - you MAY pretend to almost fall. If you crash to the floor, that's not safe, you'll have to walk on the road, which has been plowed. Now go, for this many steps: for 8 x 6 steps. Lift your knees HIGHER!"
"Hop on two feet while flapping your arms like a bird learning to fly for 4 x 4."
They seem to enjoy the silly directions but this would work just as well with jumping jacks, knee bends, or circling their arms.