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Elementary Math Assessments

In order to be real-world problem solvers, your students will need to comprehend math. But to ensure your students are understanding math, you need resources to analyze and track their development. Each BJU Press elementary math grade level offers several tools for pre-assessments, formative assessments, and summative assessments. Our goal in creating these resources is to provide support as you prepare your students for learning, track their progress, and show them and their parents how well they understand concepts.

Pre-assessments

Pre-assessments help you determine where your students are now. They also help your students recall prior learning. Much of math understanding comes from building on the foundations of earlier lessons. Each time you use an informal pre-assessment, you encourage students to activate prior knowledge from a previous unit or grade. You can also determine how difficult your students will find the new material. Will they be able to use what they’ve already learned to grasp a new concept, or will they need you to teach and model it for them?

In BJU Press math materials, opportunities for pre-assessment come with the second chapter review, available in each reviews or activities book and with the cumulative review available in chapter 1 of each of these books. While the first chapter review in each student workbook should be used for practice before a test, giving the second chapter review at the beginning of a new chapter will provide a baseline for determining your students’ prior knowledge and their ability to understand new concepts. The cumulative review in chapter 1 offers a broad review of concepts from the previous grade; using it as a pre-assessment allows you to customize instruction based on the needs of your students.

Formative Assessments

Formative assessments help you determine how well your students are learning. Do they understand concepts as you presented them? Do they need additional instruction or modeling? Are they able to use the concept on their own or apply it in new situations? Taking advantage of formative assessments reveal when to stay the course and when to change directions with instruction. Opportunities for formative assessments in your BJU Press math materials include the manipulatives, questions, student edition pages, practice and review segments, and cumulative reviews.

Manipulatives are designed to give students a physical representation of mathematical principles. How students apply manipulatives helps you infer how they think about math problems and whether they really understand them. Additionally, each teacher edition includes suggested questions that encourage discussion among your students. These discussions can give you more insight into how your students are thinking based on how they answer questions and contribute toward discussion.

However, discussions and manipulatives alone may not indicate how well every student understands. The remaining opportunities can inform you on how your whole class is doing. Exercises in the student workbook, practice and review segments, and cumulative reviews include both practice for new concepts as well as spiral review from earlier discussions. The spiral reviews reveal if your students are retaining the concepts you are teaching. They also keep new concepts in front of students on a regular basis so your students can be developing automaticity with them. These reviews can be a vital resource in preparing students for larger, graded assessments and standardized tests.

Summative Assessments

When working toward a goal, it’s important to trace progress and learn areas in need of improvement. Summative assessments give you a chance to show your students how well they’re doing and how they can improve. Opportunities for summative assessments include pages from the reviews or activity books, fact reviews, prepared tests, customizable tests and quizzes created with ExamView®, and STEM activities.

While the guided and independent practice pages in the student workbooks should be used to measure developing understanding, the pages in the activities or review books reflect the student workbook and give you a chance to give summative assessments on key concepts. You can also use the fact reviews on Teacher Tools Online as either a summative assessment or for additional practice. The prepared test packets assess how well students have accomplished the objectives, but you can also build your own assessments through ExamView® on Teacher Tools Online. ExamView® offers a bank of questions for creating tests and quizzes. Finally, STEM activities, available in Math 4 and Math 5, offer unique opportunities for summative assessments. These exercises take students away from the familiar format they expect to see math problems in. Not only will students need to understand how to use each math principle but also which principles they will need and when to use them. In each STEM exercise, students must demonstrate strong understanding of the mathematical principles they have learned to accomplish a goal or solve a real-world problem.

These assessment tools should help you ensure your students are learning and mastering the concepts you teach them and accomplishing your educational objectives. When used in conjunction with teacher editions, student workbooks, manipulatives, and additional digital resources, these tools can help you establish a successful math classroom.

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Category: Teaching