Enhancing Student Number Sense

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K – 3 Math Game Site

Hi everyone.

I found this site today while I was searching for online skip counting games. Games are organized by topic. It is aimed at K-3, but I’m sure you could find a useful game, or review, for 4 and 5 as well!

Here is the link:


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Technology Supporting Professional Dialogue

I was emailing with a friend about our inquiry and I wanted to share a comment I made:

The blog has proven to be a powerful way to promote professional dialogue beyond the boundaries of proximity and busy days. Our school is large, we have 2 new staff members on the inquiry team, a blend of English and Immersion teachers, and members from different grade levels so they probably wouldn’t seek each other out. Technology has provided a bridge to some of these pragmatic issues that challenge collaborative inquiry.

Glad to be in this fox hole with you all.

PS – 79 views on our site today.

PPS – If you are creeping our blog, we would like you to join our discussion. Please feel free to comment.


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Continual Progress Report Record-Keeping

Just wondering if anyone has created and is using a continual progress report like the one Marzano has described in Chapter 5-Approach 4 (page 41 in ch 5)?  I’m interested in using something of this type for my unit on numbers and thought I would see if anyone else has one already created before I delved in and created it from scratch.



Key Skills Assesment

So, I finished administering the Key Skills Assessment to everyone in my class and the results were less than satisfactory.  After giving it some thought and discussion with my grade level team, we have decided to use this particular assessment at this point in the year to inform our teaching (an assessment FOR learning) rather than using it as an assessment OF learning for report cards.  The exact same assessment is meant to be administered 3 times each year and covers areas of the curriculum that haven’t even been taught yet.  It certainly has given us insight on what we need to work on teaching in more depth, but we don’t feel (at this point in the year) that it’s a reliable judge of what students actually know about numbers right now.  Perhaps when we administer it again in March and June, it will give us better indicators of what students actually know about numbers.

What do you all think?



Jumping in head first…

So I’ve been thinking about that “underutilised” component of assessment- student created assessments and what that would look like in my classroom. Last night, when I was tossing and turning (where great ideas come from), I thought, “I taught that lesson on odd and even numbers yesterday, I think it went well, but I need some documentation to support my hunch”. Thinking back to what we’ve been talking about, I immediately thought about allowing my students to demonstrate their knowledge. I decided to frame the activity by telling them what I needed to know and thus what they had to show me. We brainstormed possible ways that they could demonstrate that knowledge and I set them loose (a very frightening experience at first) but, what a great experience! I actually said out loud to myself, “Why didn’t I do this before?”

I didn’t grab my clipboard until later. First, I circulated and everyone was EAGER to demonstrate what they know. I started conferencing haphazardly with students. Prompting them to get on track- not providing answers but clarifying concepts that you could see were just beginning to be formed.

Before closing the activity, I grabbed my clipboard and jotted down important information that I gathered from the activity. I was pleasantly surprised. I took some pictures of some of the things that they came up with. ImageImageImageImage

I guess the difference between this and what I’ve done before is that I’ve framed the assessment more. This one was student-selected, sometimes collaborative and very telling. I am definitely going to do this again!


The Tally (so far)

Looking at the tally so far, I am finding that the project component is the hardest to address. Also, challenging the strong students (beyond the time working with that group during guided sessions) is not happening as often as I would like. Any suggestions?? 


F.A. ideas from this website

I like this website. Not all of the fomative assessment example are for math but you can certainly think about how to use them in math.


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Okay, I understand the four- point scale but how well can I translate it into the current three-point system on report cards?

Anyone willing to tackle this with me?
I find this difficult because it often feels like we cram a lot of learning goals under one heading, i.e. Number and Operations. Two “Number” units may be covered during a particular reporting period and on one they may have done well and on the other, not so much.
To be quite honest, I hate assigning grades, I would rather just provide a progress report and discuss goals that we need to set for that particular child. Thoughts?


Student generated assessments

Tanya…. I have been thinking a lot as well after reading Marzano’s chapter regarding this very topic.  I agree with having the students “show” us what they know in their own creative style/way. This brings into play many of the following questions:

-some parents seek the pencil/paper/traditional form of testing.  So we need to re-educate parents on these new styles of demonstrating learning. )

-although we would create and use a rubric for such an activity, is the rubric not somewhat subjective rather than objective??

I would love to see more of this student-generated work come into play. So often I have read or listened to a student explain or write about their strategy and it was genius…… yet didn’t fit into the “mould” of an answer.  If we are encouraging kids to “show us” what they know.. we need to be fair in how we ALL (provincially) grade them. (ie. provincial testing…)


Student-Generated Assessments

“Student-generated assessments are probably the most underutilized form of classroom assessment. As the name implies, a defining feature of student-generated assessments is that students generate ideas about the manner in which they will demonstrate their current status on a given topic”. Ch. 2, The Anatomy of Formative Assessment, p. 16

This got me thinking…why not? Anyone willing to go on the journey in K-2 with me? How shall we proceed?