Math Assessments and Self-Reflections

As 2022 ends I’m starting to think about next year. I’m now in the middle of a school break and reflecting on the progress that was made this past year. I’ve had some time to think about the last few weeks of school and what will come in January.

Before break my fifth grade students finished a unit on decimal multiplication and division. During the first three assessments I kept on finding that students made simple mistakes or didn’t completely answer questions before turning in the test. I feel like part of that is due to the increased staminia needed as we traversed from remote to hybird and eventually to in-person learning. The simple mistakes or incomplete work pieces were overlooked and impacted their marks – especially related to written mathematical responses.

To address this I decided to created a test checklist. The checklist included a line and a task. For example, __ I made an estimate before using an algorithm. The sheet was about 4″ x 4″ and printed out on colorful paper. All students filled out the sheet and checked-off each line before stapling it to the front of the test. I’d say most followed-through on checking and it reminded students to check their work in the process.

After the assessment I had students self-reflect on their performance. Students completed a Desmos task and here is the deck.

Students then checked-off correct vs incorrect answers. Students saw a list of concepts that might need bolstering and strength areas based on thier initial responses.

Students spent a good deal of time on this particular slide. They had to made a judgement call regarding where they were compared to the standard. Some students felt like they should’ve been placed in a different category because of a simple mistake. The next slide added an opportunity for students to provide context for their analysis or ask questions.

For the most part students found the process useful. I’m looking forward to using a similar self-reflection process for the next unit assessment.

Web-Based Formative Math Assessments

I’ll admit it, I’m becoming more of a formative assessment advocate this year. I believe that formative assessments have a place in the elementary math classroom. As a technology enthusiast, I’m always searching for ways to improve my instruction through the use of technology.  For the past year I’ve had the opportunity to use Socrative and Scootpad apps (both free) with my math class.  Both of these apps are web-based and offer the ability to provide immediate feedback to the student. I’ve added a few snippets of information about these apps below.


Socrative is a web-based program that is similar to a wireless clicker system, but with a keyboard.  Teachers can create multiple choice, true/false, and short answer quizes with this app.  The quizes are quick and easy to create – I actually created a 10 multiple choice question quiz on an iPad.  Teacher have the option for students to complete the quizes at their own pace or at an assigned pace as a class.  Similar to Google Docs, student information is updated and you can actually show the data on an LCD screen live.  Once short answers are submitted students also have the option to vote for the answer they feel is best.  This option definitely promotes student engagement.  Reports on student progress can be sent to you via email and they are in Excel format for easy sorting.


Scootpad offers teachers a way to assess students on Common Core Math Standards (Grades 1-5).  Teachers are able to individualize assessments based on the needs of their students.  Mastery (as a %) can be determined by the teacher and students have opportunities to earn badges and other awards.   The interface takes a while to get used to, but overall this app allows teachers a quick opportunity to assess students’ understanding. Student data is aggregated and can be sorted easily. Scootpad will be expanding to middle school math Common Core Standards in the near future.

What formative assessments do you use?

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