Once I’ve assigned a pre-test to my math classes, I utilize the tools available in Google Forms to understand the data.
I have my assessments set up so that the data can be easily interpreted and will help me to structure my unit to meet the needs of my students.
- Overview: What’s the overall pulse of this pre-assessment? Are some students coming in with mastery already?
- Standards: Which standards are showing the least amount of prior mastery? Which ones have students clearly already been exposed to before?
- Questions: If there are some standards that show varying mastery, which particular questions did students have trouble with?
How I Use This Information to Plan
I currently teach three different math classes, so I actually dive deeper into the data and sort my students by their class period.
I make a list of each standard and create groups. These groups are usually based on which students showed mastery of all questions on that standard, those who showed no mastery, and those who showed some evidence of mastery.
Depending on the skill, I typically include all students in my mini-lesson at the beginning of the class. As we move through the gradual release model, I begin to differentiate, allowing some students to work on an assignment that is more challenging with higher level thinking. I will usually pull a small group of students who are struggling with the skill and break it down further for remediation. My students who show some mastery get the opportunity to begin independent practice and then I check in with them to ensure they are on-track.
Groups are flexible and frequently change day to day. I also use quick checks to help with this flexible grouping.
Overall, these pre-assessments provide valuable information to help me get started at the beginning of a unit. At the end of every unit, I give a similar post-test and compare the data in order to see the growth that each individual student and the overall class has made.
***The growth data is also a helpful addition to your portfolio for observations. I usually share the forms with my admin team so they can see how data is being used to strategically plan.
Click here to see all of my paperless math assessments for grades 3-5.