Fractions Formative #1

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SWBAT understand a fraction as the quantity formed by one part (a) when a whole is partitioned into equal parts (b); and will understand the fraction a/b as quantity formed by parts of size 1/b.

Big Idea

A formative assessments of critical area #2 to drive the differentiation of instruction, help students reflect on their progress, and enable effective communication with parents.


35 minutes

Individual assessments and 1-1 conversations are very informative but it is not possible for me to get to all 29 students on any given day.  A more realistic number is about 5-9, depending on how much the other children need.  So while the class is taking this Fraction Assessment I call students over individually and ask them:

They are not required to know the words numerator and denominator but sometimes not using a word can make it more confusing.  So,when I confer with students about their understanding of unit fractions,  I write the equations on the board when I ask questions like the one below, and I do usually say, "What does the numerator represent?" as I point to it.  If the student is struggling to express themselves, I sometimes do simplify the language processing task and say, "What does this part (and point) of the fraction represent?" (and I point to the numerator or denominator.

- I ask them which they would rather have, 1/2 a pie or 1/4 of a pie (assuming they like pie.  If they don't, then I just make sure to flip the question so that I am asking for the smallest piece).  I ask them to explain their choice.  I keep track of their responses in my "Student Notes" document.  (upload) 

Immediate Assessment Review

20 minutes

If students haven't finished in 35 minutes (w/the exception of students who need more time for individual learning style reasons) I collect the assessment regardless.  Spending any longer with something they don't understand does nothing but cause meaningless frustration.

As the students are coming to the carpet, I take a quick glance at their work and also at the notes I've jotted down from the students whose papers have already been turned in.  I pick several areas in which they experienced difficulty and as I talk through this content and scaffold it on the whiteboard, students also write out the models on their whiteboards.  This is student centered so the direction this review takes is based on student needs.  I feel very strongly that when at all possible, assessments should be gone over, at least in part, immediately or within the next day. This aligns with the spoken message I give the students, that the purpose of an assessment is for me (and them) to know what they have mastered, what they need a little more practice with, and where I can provide extra support or enrichment.

Data Analysis

5 minutes

I use a very simple form of record keeping on this Fraction Student Checklist.  If it's a question that lends itself to a percentage (such as the one in which they simply had to circle the fraction that was larger w/in each given pair) then I write in a percentage. Percentages can be very informative in some areas and just because they are not how we grade any more doesn't mean they don't have a place in effective and efficient data collection!  I also use a star for mastery, a check plus for on level, a check for almost there, a check minus for a question on which the student really struggled, and a zero w/a line through it if they didn't answer.  We have converted to a number system this year in my school district and I'm sure once I acclimate to it I may record 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 instead of my older system.  Bottom line - this is a tool for me!  If I am meeting w/parents, I can look at more specific  notes and I don't hesitate to photocopy or save a paper I want to be sure they see, for any reason.  (The reasons don't have to be negative!)