Tasks provide many opportunities to use a range of assessment practices.
- When being used by two students as an invitation to work like a mathematician, assessment can be through informal conversations with students, or through journal records or through previously prepared response sheets.
- When being used with an Investigation Guide to extend the investigation or as a whole class lesson to model how to work like a mathematician, assessment can be through project-style reports which might be written assignments, posters, comic strips, PowerPoints, videos etc. Rubrics can be used to assess these reports.
Assessment can focus on mathematical content or the process of working like a mathematician or both. It can be a mix of teacher assessment and student self-assessment.
It is wise to plan your assessment as you plan your lessons, otherwise it tends to be an afterthought that doesn't make best use of the breadth and depth of available assessment techniques. Links below may help with this important part of teaching and learning.
| Conversation & Proforma
Using tasks in whatever way in the classroom (see Integrating Tasks for models & structures) implies that teachers will question and challenge students. Following these conversations it is often important for both teacher and students to make an assessment record using documents such as these.
This information need only be collected a few times each year, but it takes planning to obtain the information from all student pairs over time.
The following links relate to student assessment either by showing examples of student work that can be used to focus in-house professional development:
If our students turned in this work how would we assess it?
or by supporting teacher learning through articles or professional development.
Rubrics are charts prescribing what is to be assessed and what has to be presented to achieve particular levels of assessment. They might be teacher designed, based on curriculum document requirements, or they might be developed in conjunction with students. Our thanks to the teachers who have worked long and hard to develop the following examples and who have been willing to share them through this page.
- Damian Howison and the staff of Mackillop College, Swan Hill, have made a concerted effort to use Replacement Units as a significant structure within their mathematics curriculum. These units require students to present reports of their investigations. This rubric guides students in working towards better reporting and is used by staff to comment on, and assess, student work.
On the Recording & Publishing page you can view two student reports on Task 101, Pyramid Puzzle which include Damian's supportive comments based on this rubric.
- Jodi Wilson and Maria Antoniou, Mt. Eliza Secondary College developed this rubric following their involvement in a 6 Day Maths on the Move course. Their classroom explorations, and those of others in the course, are recorded in the story Engineering 'aha' Moments in Algebra.
Jodi & Maria use this document when students write reports after completing whole class activities or when they complete task cards.
5 Square Assessment
Jodi Wilson (See Rubrics above) transferred to Dromana Secondary College and was introduced to a literacy technique called 4-Square Writing which is designed to help students write an essay. She immediately recognised that it would provide excellent scaffolding for students as they learn to publish like a mathematician, one of the key elements of the Working Mathematically Process. Trialing and adapting the process to mathematics and integrating it with her earlier work has led to:
Jodi has also provided a work sample from Amelia, Year 7. Amelia used an earlier development of the 5 Square Reporting Proforma and wrote her report on her investigation of Factorgrams (Maths300 Lesson 104). Amelia's work report is clear, confident and concise.
Using the 5 Square Rubric, how would you assess Amelia's report?
Although obviously great for preparing an essay, the 5 Square Reporting proforma could also be used as the basis of publishing in other ways such as those listed in the introduction above.
More from the Mathematics Task Centre