This chapter was “preaching to the choir” for me. I know that current testing culture is ruining children’s math perceptions and love. Overtesting in the United States has lead to states, districts, teachers, parents, and students to focus on single numbers and letters. And they use these scores to determine the effectiveness of math teachers and the rank of the school. Outrageous. Math is a joyful, engaging, exhilarating school subject and to have it be turned into a dry, boring, monotonous, torture session breaks my heart. Can you sense my frustration? My students consistently test above the state average without the drill and kill that I see at other schools.
This chapter highlights several legitimate options to standardized tests: self-assessment, peer assessment, reflection time, traffic lighting (students indicate with red, yellow, or green signals/cups how they are understanding the teaching), jigsaw groups, exit tickets, online forms, doodling, and students write test questions/answers.
My Big Takeaway
Students need to be a part of the assessment. If you need to assigning scores and numbers let students have a chance to redo the work for a higher score, encouraging growth mindset.
Tips for me to implement in my classroom
- Wherever possible, encourage my students to be an active part of assessing. I would like to implement more opportunities for self-assessment. I need to make a generic form for my students to respond to the day’s learning: I get it and can explain it, I almost get it, I need more information to get it.
- Allow for more peer-reviews. I teach upper elementary students and they are capable of helping each other and care about each other. I need to harness this power.
This was a great chapter with a lot of specific ideas. Please get this book and help us revolutionize math!
— Thanks for reading!