Because we are in the final weeks of school, I have woefully neglected this blog. I do have more Logs for Fractions that I am committed to finish, but as you know, the last month of school is so busy that to use any more thinking power after school or on weekends is futile. My weekends are usually devoted to Netflix and reading the book “A Better Life for Half the Price.”
Anyway, I am wrapping up the year with my math students, which means final reports for parents, students, and me. I like to do the following four things to really give everyone a sense of how the year went mathematically:
1. For parents: Basic Fluency Test
I like to give my students a 20 minute basic math skills fluency test. They do as many problems as they can, and then I record the time at the top. When the 20 minutes are done, I gather the rest and write 20 minutes for their time. While I’m not big on weekly/daily timed math tests, parents like to see that their lovely learners are improving on these basic skills. For my 4-5th graders, it’s one page, starts with basic 4 digit adding/subtracting and goes to long division. For my 2-3rd graders, it’s also one page, it starts with basic adding/subtracting and goes to simple multiplication. I give this fluency test at the beginning of the year as well as the end of the year. I include a copy for the parents reports. It’s a handy, quick, and simple way to show growth.
2. For students: Common Core Snap Shot/Mini assessments/Score Card
Each of my 4 and 5th graders have a Common S(core) Card (get it score card – core card). They keep track of when they have mastered a specific standard. I have mini/exit ticket assessments that I hand out to the whole class or they can use whenever they feel they are ready. At the end of the year, I give each student a Common Core Snapshot of all the standards. It’s a way for them to see how well they have retained the information and they can also cross off more items on their score card. These help me write my final narrative reports too.
For my 2nd and 3rd graders, I keep their score card and use it to keep track. I also use it for my math interviews. I give them regular mini assessments throughout the year and a final snapshot. These help me write my final narrative reports too.
3. For me: Teacher Assessment/Reflection
I also like my students to assess me, why not? They are my “customers” and I want to make sure that they feel they can contribute to improving my class. I use this quick and free two page survey that include ratings and open-ending questions. Click here if you want the $1 MS Word editable version.
4. For class fun: Class Brainstorm/Brain Dump
The last thing I do, usually on one of the last days, is do a whole-class brain dump. Basically I make sure my whiteboard is completely clean, and we do a brain dump of what we learned about math.
They partner up, with a small whiteboard and do their own brain dumps, but listing all the things they learned about math.
I then ask everyone for their notes and I add them to our brain dump. It’s important that they are specific and can explain their thinking. I try to color code it.
Resources mentioned in this blog:
Thanks for reading and good luck with your final days of school!
– Evil Math Wizard