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I give students frequent formative assessments to monitor their progress with the material. These include formal biweekly (and sometimes weekly) “short cycle assessments”, which I track in an excel tracker. This excel tracker, as seen below, tracks overall mastery of individual students and the class as a whole. This allows me to target particular students for remediation if only a fraction of the students did not master the skill, or the whole class if the entire class needs a re-teach.
I use an excel tracker to track class-by-class, standard-by-standard, unit-by-unit student mastery. In this tracker, for example, I can see that mastery in Unit 2 has increased over time, with the first exam on 9/26 having 25% tested mastery and the exam on 11/2 having 60% tested mastery.
When I give students their short cycle assessments on the computer, I can track their mastery by standard. As seen below, I can track mastery of each question by class, and each question lists the standards tested.
This is an example on what our computerized Short Cycle Assessments’s (SCA’s) analysis looks like. I am able to analyze class-by-class what the average performance on each question was, and how this compares to the district as a whole. In this example, my class was relatively successful with question #4, particularly my 4th period class. However, my class did not understand questions #3 or #1, and same with the district as a whole. This allows me to target my reteach to be around the content on these questions.
This is an example on what our computerized Short Cycle Assessments’s (SCA’s) analysis looks like. I am able to analyze class-by-class what the average performance on each question was, and how this compares to the district as a whole. In this example, my class was quite successful with the first two questions, but failed to understand the rest of the test. I also notice the general pattern of performance decreasing with later questions, which tells me that my students need help keeping their up stamina for longer exams. I can also see the differences among classes and notice that my 6th period (middle column) understood most questions less than my other two periods. I can target my reteaching to be for different questions in different class periods.
I also give students exit tickets daily, which allows me to track their mastery day-by-day. I try to have a variety of question types on the exit tickets, depending if I want to test quick mastery of the mechanics of the skill or whether or not students can explain their thinking. I create my groups for station rotation based on exit ticket data so that I can target students in small group reteach the next day properly.
This student did not think through their variables. The student did know they would need to divide and how to divide fractions. This told me that we needed to reteach how to pick which is an independent and which is a dependent variable. This student needed some reteach, so they were placed in my medium group.
This student did not think through their variables. This student also did not do the math correctly. This student needed the most reteach, and the next day was placed in my low group.
While this student used the correct math, they did not label their units or answer in complete sentences. This student was placed in my high group the next day to focus on how to properly answer word problems.
Some exit tickets are quick checks for understanding. This student was able to master the skill of the lesson, stating what a point on a graph means in real-world terms.
Some exit tickets are very quick checks for understanding. This student did not fully understand the lesson, as they did not actually find the unit rate.
Learning from Mistakes
With short cycle assessments, I have students complete quiz corrections, then a reassessment. There are some weekly quizzes on fluency skills, such as the integers one attached below, that I have student re-take with different numbers each week and replace their quiz grade with their overall highest grade. Once they reach 100%, they no longer have to retake the quiz and qualify for an ice cream social. So far, 10% of the class has achieved 100% on the quiz. This is to encourage students to achieve mastery on the skill and learn from their past mistakes. My weekly integers quiz has gone from 25% overall mastery the first time students took it to 60% overall mastery the seventh time.
This student got a 48% the first time they took this quiz, and 100% the seventh time. This encourages their mastery of this essential 7th grade fluency skill.
This student nearly got 100% on this quiz, making one mistake of including a negative when it should have been a positive. They will have yet another opportunity to prove their 100% mastery of the material.
I also do projects during the unit as a mid-unit assessment as well. For example, with the Fornite project shown below, I had students create a table, graph, and equation for a player who wins 3 out of every 4 games that he plays. They then had to explain if the relationships was proportional and why. While 95% of the class was able to successfully make a table, graph the relationship, and write an equation, only 25% was able to successfully articulate why the relationship was proportional. I knew to focus more of my instruction on the concept of proportionality instead of the mechanics due to their performance on this project. They had in their Do Nows every day a question asking if a relationship was proportional, and if so, why.
For example, the student who completed the project to the far left was able to write a table and graph for the relationship, but failed to explain why it was proportional or write an equation. The example in the middle had a graph, table, and equation, but did not think carefully enough about which variable ought to be independent or dependent. The example to the right had all of the elements, but could still work on making writing more precise. Her project also showed that she thought more critically about why she was making certain decisions, such as independent and dependent variables, and was able to fix her mistakes when she realized them. She was learning through sitting down and doing the project.
I was able to use these observations from halfway through the unit to inform my instruction for the rest of the proportional relationships unit.
This is an example of a Fortnite Project that failed to include all of the components. This group only got to completing their graph and their table.
This is an example of a project that, while correct, did not think through its independent and dependent variables critically.
This is an example of a project with all of the correct components, but the math language could be tightened up.
i-Ready Lesson Quizzes
When students work on i-Ready lessons, I can also track how much they are passing those lessons. This allows me to further target students for differentiated instruction in i-Ready and/or being pulled for small group reteaches of lessons they struggle to pass on i-Ready.
This is an example of a class report for i-Ready lesson mastery. In this case, I can see that while many students are mastering the material in their i-Ready lessons, others are not (such as the second to last student from the bottom). This lets me pull individual students who are not being successful using i-Ready as a review tool for small group instruction.
Student-by-student, I can also see by what margin students passed and how often they retook a lesson. For example, the student below had to retake “Recognizing proportional relationships” lesson a second time in order to pass, and only barely passed with a 75%.
This is an example on what an individual student’s report looks like in the i-Ready instruction page. For this particular student, they had to re-take “Recognizing Proportional Relationships” in order to master it. The student still only narrowly mastered this material on the second try, so I would still pull this student for a reteach.
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