The Common Core-aligned PARCC assessments (which will be administered in Mississippi beginning in 2014-2015) will require students to think flexibly and write extensively about their mathematical thinking; most questions will be open-ended, rather than multiple choice, and will have a second portion that includes performance-based tasks. If students in Mississippi schools are going to be prepared for these tests, we need to begin the transition now.
One of the best ways to prepare students is to begin aligning our assessment expectations to the PARCC assessments. As such, in the 2013 – 2014 school year, we expect all math teachers to assess their students via open-ended performance tasks at least once per quarter, and suggest you administer tasks more frequently—as frequently as once per unit—if possible.
Appropriate tasks can be found at the following websites. If you interested in administering a different task you’ve found or in creating your own, please contact your MTLD so you can ensure the task is at the appropriate level of rigor.
- Illustrative Mathematics (includes tasks from K – 12)
- Balanced Assessment (includes tasks from K – 12)
- Mathematics Assessments Project (includes tasks from 6 – 12; please choose from the ‘Apprentice’ and ‘Expert’ tasks, rather than ‘Novice’ tasks or Formative Assessment Lessons)
- For upper level math classes, open-ended AP test questions may be an appropriate substitute for these tasks. Please contact your MTLD to discuss your options.
To grade your performance tasks, we recommend you use this rubric. Your goal, by the end of the year, is that students have an average score of 3.0. You can use this handy tracker (big thanks to our ELA friends for building the prototype) to keep up with their data, and to give them motivating information about their growth!