This month, I am sharing some sure-fire ways to get your students communicating mathematically through their writing. Today’s strategy is a performance assessment. Performance assessments are great alternatives to worksheets and tests and provide an opportunity for students to respond to a content-focused question.
Performance assessments are a great summative assessment tool to use at the end of a lesson cycle. Students can record their responses on notebook paper but can also be collected in a spiral in order to create an on-going portfolio of student work.
Here’s how it works:
Consider the following prompt:
Robin multiplied two numbers together to get a product that has a difference from the product of 29 x 76 of about 90. What two numbers might she have multiplied together? Justify your answer. (5.NBT.B.5– Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.)
1. Present students with a prompt based on a current learning objective.
2. Review the prompt to be sure all of the students understand the task.
3. Ask students to justify their answers with pictures, words, and/or numbers.
Performance assessments are best evaluated using a rubric. The rubric to the right is one that I have used for many years. You can grab a free copy of
Sound Off! How will you use this strategy with your own students?