Math assessments

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Math assessment quick guide

  1. Math standards work together. Look for standards within a cluster or domain that complement each other. Assess the concept not just individual standards.
    For example, in elementary grades place value can be evaluated using items for identifying place value, rounding numbers, and addition with regrouping. The students then can show their understanding of place value in different but connected ways.
  2. Include items that address a concept with questions that approach the standard(s) in different manners. Mixing selected response with constructed response items provides a better picture of student thinking and learning.
  3. Select test questions that have grade level math vocabulary. It will be important to decide what modifications or support will be available for students that may not understand the question due to reading skills, not math proficiency.
  4. Use grade appropriate numbers. Also, vary digits, length, and the types of numbers used in the questions.
    For example, if testing fractions, select items with a variety of denominators.
  5. Evaluate each concept or standard with a variety of complex or difficult questions. Assessments that are too hard or too easy will not provide instructional or feedback value.
  6. Be careful not to over-test a concept or standard. Typically 5 – 10 items with varied complexity or difficulty will provide instructional performance data.

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