Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 8

Assessments are an essential part of any classroom whether you have created a Guided Math structure for your classroom or not.  However, in a Guided Math classroom, assessments do not play the typical role as they do in other areas of curriculum. Using the Guided Math Framework, assessments are used for students for guide and enhance their learning.  When I first though of assessing my students, I automatically thought of giving a test at the end of a skill and use the results to determine how well my students comprehended the skill that I taught.  Although that is partly true, I learned that assessments are more than just knowing how my students did on a specific skill.  They are used to show me, the teacher, what areas I need to improve on while I am teaching.  Assessments also show what parts of the skill need to be re-taught.  I also like that according the Guided Math Framework, students are also involved in their own assessments.  They are directed in exactly what they are supposed to learn and they help to assess themselves on how well they mastered the skill and what they, as the student, need to do to help improve their learning.   

In my own classroom, I feel that I use a wide variety of assessments. throughout the course of the school year, I use Formative and Summative assessments when teaching skills. We are also required to give multiple benchmark assessments, usually every 9 weeks. I surely cannot forget our state mandated assessments that are given each spring. Needless to say, sometimes I feel like I have assessments coming out of my ears!! It seems that I am always assessing for someone.  Someone is always in need of data, whether it be myself, other teachers, administrators, superintendents, or the state.  Due to this, I can honestly say that even though I have plenty of assessing and evaluating going on in my classroom, I don't always know what to do with all of the data that I receive.  Sometimes, I have so much data that it all gets muddled together and then half of it gets wasted! ugh!! It is a tough balance trying to find the right amount of assessing and evaluating my students in order to make their learning as productive as possible.
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