First Assessment

As you are creating your first unit assessment, be sure you can answer the following questions:

  • What Common Core or Mississippi state standards are covered on this test? Why do you believe the questions you’re asking are aligned and at the appropriate level of rigor?
  • What are the key mathematical ideas that students will be familiar with at the end of this unit? What are the big questions they’ll be able to answer? What are the particular skills that students should be fluent in?

Other notes on assessments:

  • We recommend that lower rigor items (vocabulary, fill in the blanks, etc.) not be included in your unit assessment. You should ask these questions as formative assessments at other opportunities, such as weekly quizzes or daily exit tickets. By the time of your unit assessment, students should be expected to demonstrate comprehension of the standards at a higher level of rigor.
  • Given the shift to Common Core, you should be asking your students to create a variety of products on a written assessment, including answers to simple multiple choice or application questions, but also arguments, explanations, diagrams, mathematical models, etc.

Useful resources for creating your first assessment:

  • Read some thoughts from blogger and teacher Daniel Schneider about how assessments impact curriculum.
  • One interesting approach you may consider taking to assessment is “Standards-based grading.” Read more about that idea here.
  • Problem Attic is a tool for compiling assessment items from other state tests, and may be useful for creating high-rigor assessments
  • Dan Meyer’s 3 Act tasks are a good beginning point for thinking about other forms of assessment you might use.
  • There is a school district in Maryland that has posted complete curricular materials for K – 5 and secondary math. Because Maryland is using the same Common Core assessment as Mississippi, all of these materials are well aligned to how we should be teaching.
  • See also our “Assessments” page, which focuses on assessments you will use throughout the school year.