Thursday, July 24, 2014

Guided Math in Action - Chapter 5

Welcome back for chapter five of our book study!

Before I jump into this chapter, Sarah and Courtney have big news from Dr. Nicki Newton. Check it out here!

Assessments! Oh my!

This chapter was all about having a balanced assessment plan in place. I especially enjoyed this chapter because one of my professional development goals this year is centered around data driven instruction. 

A couple of things that stood out to me:

"Often there is a discrepancy between what students think they know and what they actually know (pg. 55)"
Um...YES! My experience is only with first and second graders, but I have often found that some of my students over-estimate their understanding of a concept.

"Students need to know where they are and where they need to be and what the plan is to get there (pg. 55)."
This was actually said a lot in this chapter in several different ways! Why? Because it is so important! I found this last year when I did this with my struggling readers, they were much more motivated to practice and apply themselves during our small group time. 

Love the two sided folder idea (in fact had pinned this recently).

Math data folders were also mentioned. I had seen a post before the study began by Brittany at Excelling in Second (she's doing the study too) that had me thinking about data folders and what I would want to include in mine.


Part of growth is admitting failure, right? Well, I have to say that I hadn't been doing ANY pre-assessments. This will be my fifth year teaching and I have always just followed my curriculum for math. I knew which lessons we didn't need to spend much time on or which ones I would need to supplement and extend, but no formal pre-assessments.

Ongoing assessments were also a weak area for me. In the way I structured the math block, finding time to conference with students and do oral assessments was a challenge. I'm excited about the math workshop approach and how it will free me up to do more of this.

Summative assessments, such as chapter tests, were done a lot at the beginning of the year. Saxon has a test every five lessons! I did them faithfully at first and then decided it was just too much "testing." I started doing the tests after every ten lessons instead. Now I can see that using those assessments in a different way might make more sense. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm still wrapping my head around how I will be able to use my curriculum with the guided math structure.


This is a little hard for me to answer right now because I need to really do some thinking about Saxon and guided math.

I know I will start doing pre-assessments!
I also know that I will start doing more ongoing assessments, such as anecdotals, checklists, and conferences.

As far as summative assessments, I definitely want to add in a self-reflection. It might take some training in order to get the kiddos to give an honest reflection, but I know it will help them to think about where they are (and where they are going).

I promise when I have this all figured out, I will definitely let you in on my more specific plan (though it will very likely evolve throughout the year)! ;-)

Thanks for stopping by! Please don't let me think I'm the only one who needs to work on this assessment thing. Leave me comments and suggestions below! 

In case you missed them, here are the links to the previous chapters.

I'll be back on Sunday with chapter six!


  1. You have some great plans for this year! I will look forward to reading future posts as your gets into full swing. :0) This chapter is so important and really gets the wheels turning...


    1. Thanks, Sarah. I'm getting it figured out...slowly! :-)



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