Do you need to show student growth over the course of the school year? I love to assess my students using a math benchmark three times per school year. It is the perfect way to show growth, help review for state assessments, and begin making math groups.
Here is a breakdown of how I use math benchmarks at each point of the school year.
Beginning of the Year Assessment
I usually assess my students' math skills during the first week or two of school. I ask them to complete this assessment and warn them that they may not be familiar with all of the questions. They will just need to do their best and attempt to answer as many questions as possible. From there, I begin to make note of students who are able to complete many of the skills, because they are going to require more challenging work as the school year progresses. I use this data to begin making math groups to prepare for differentiation.
Middle of the Year Assessment
Once again, I use the same assessment to see where students stand. Typically, by the middle of the school year, I have addressed a large chunk of the skills that are covered in this assessment. By the end of the first semester or the beginning of the second semester, I am often already thinking about how I'll review for standardized assessments. I use this assessment to see which students need help with each skill specifically.
End of Year Assessment
I typically give this assessment again at the end of the school year to track growth from the beginning to the end of the school year. I share this information with both parents and the sixth-grade teachers. Many of my students come into the school year earning less than 10% on this assessment and leave with a score of 80% or higher.