Subtraction Fluency and Vocabulary Assessment

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT solve subtraction equations within 20 and use math vocabulary successfully.

Big Idea

First graders need to be able to solve subtraction facts with fluency and use math vocabulary to communicate processes and explain their ideas. This assessment will allow me to see who needs further instruction or is ready for advanced material.

Rev Them Up

5 minutes

I have used popcorn reading during our reading language arts time and now I am going to use this process to refresh their minds on subtraction.  I call it popcorn reading or in this case popcorn math time because students are selected in random order.  A great way to do this activity and keep it completely random is to assign each student a number and write that number on a popsicle stick.  The sticks can be dropped in a cup and pulled one at a time to select students.  Also, I allow every student to call on a friend for help anytime that I select at random so that no one feels too much "on the spot."  Every student needs a way to get help when they get nervous and can't find the answer.  It keeps their confidence intact and the game moving along.  As I draw each stick I will ask that student a simple subtraction fact using numbers 1-20.

I have taught multiple lessons leading up to this assessment for my students to master the common core standard to be able to subtract within 20 with fluency. (1.OA.C.6). They have several problem solving strategies to pick from that we have covered in the unit. Make sure you have taught these lessons before assessing them.

Whole Group Interaction

15 minutes

My students need to review the terms:

  • missing part
  • minus
  • take away
  • less than

These are the terms stated in my district curriculum that I must teach, though I also want students to remember the other, more challenging terms that we have worked on throughout this unit, such as: commutative property, identity property, and difference. While you will not see these terms formally assessed in the current version of the lesson, for the future I may go back and add on to the assessment opportunities for students to use these words as well.  Doing so will help to align with the CCSS and will allow me to see how effective my teaching of these challenging terms was.  Feel free to alter the assessment to include these terms if you'd like! 

I want to refresh their minds of what these words mean and how can we use them in math talk. We will have a whole class discussion with volunteers offering their ideas for definitions and examples. Then, I will ask each student to turn to their neighbor and talk with them about each term. They can use it in a sentence or describe what it means to their neighbor. 

Also, I will remind them that subtraction is take away and our answer should be less not more. Watch our class discussion and make sure to review your students before testing them. You don't want them to go into the assessment "cold."

Independent Practice

10 minutes

I used a website to create math facts drills and to design one for this assessment. You can click here to access it. I attached a drill to the printable test file, but you should access the site and print your own. I would not use the one I attached because it will not cover numbers to 20.  I attached it so you could see what is available.  The vocabulary test required students to use the words in a sentence. You can use this format or develop your own test format. You could write the words on the chalkboard and allow them to look at the list and create their sentences.  It would be really awesome if you could take your kids to the computer lab and allow them to type their sentences for these vocabulary words, but that would only be best if they have previous word processing abilities and time available to visit the lab. 

My class uses offices made from two manila folders that I staple together to create a tri-fold. Make sure you use this or some type of divider during test time.  It will help keep their eyes on their own paper. I will have them set up their office and then administer the test.  

I will assess them first on fluency with subtraction facts. Research supports that fluent computation in first grade means students solve 60 problems in a minute; however, when factoring in time for them to write the answers down, I decided to allow 4 seconds per problem. Thus, for a page with 60 problems, I will allow 4 minutes.

This skill has progressed from learning what subtraction is, what it looks like, how to do it, to now how quickly can we do it. I will pass out the test and set the timer for 4 minutes.  When the timer goes off, I will collect the facts test and pass out the vocabulary test.  I would keep them on separate sheets of paper so that no one can go back and work on the facts piece. 

The vocabulary test will give you an opportunity to see how they describe math actions. I want to know: do they understand what the words mean, can they use them correctly, and can they describe in a precise manner what is occurring.