Ms. Wu has a problem, a mathematics problem. A 2nd-grade teacher at Penbrook Elementary, Ms. Wu is preparing for her third year. It is the pre-planning week before her students arrive and she’s just received the results of the end-of-year state assessment for the prior academic year. The mathematics results are disappointing to say the least. Overall, her students did not perform as well as other 2nd-graders at Penbrook or across the state, and the scores of several are significantly below what she anticipated. She’s frustrated that there is nothing she can do at this point to address the needs of those students. On the other hand, the reading results reflect what she already felt—that she excelled at teaching reading. She enjoyed the curriculum and consistently used the built-in assessments to guide her instruction. As a result, her students’ reading skills improved steadily, even those who initially struggled. As she begins to plan for the upcoming year, Ms. Wu wants to make sure her students perform at least as well in math as they do in reading. She wonders whether she can use assessments like she did in reading to inform her instruction in mathematics and to help identify students who need additional support so that all of her students can be more successful.
Here’s Your Challenge:
How can teachers use assessment to guide instruction?
How can teachers determine whether students are making appropriate progress?