At the end of last term I put my hand up to work on an assessment task related to what we've been doing in our Number and Place Value lessons so far this year. As I got started, I was struck by how boring the assessment was looking. I thought of the students in my class who feel intimidated by the mere sight of a page of Maths questions. So, I started fiddling with some ideas for how to make the task more appealing.
I needed to cover reading, writing and ordering numbers to 1000 and some addition/subtraction strategies. So far I have come up with 2 ideas, and I just need to come up with an interesting way for students to explain/demonstrate the strategies they use to work out a number of addition and subtraction questions. I'm thinking it will probably have something to do with folding a page into three - the first column for the addition/subtraction question, the second for the naming or circling the strategy used, and the third for demonstrating the mental steps. Here are the other ideas I have come up with already:
My first idea is Place Value Garden:
This assessment is a picture of a garden, with different things students complete for each picture. For example, students write the bonds of 10 in the sun's rays. An instruction sheet explains what to do for each picture. I'm also considering a more open-ended option, whereby I provide students with the pictures and they create their own garden poster.
In order to make this assessment task, I needed to draw the pictures, and I ended up making a whole set of preliminary tasks students would complete in the lead up to the assessment. What resulted was a 48 page resource book for teaching place value using these pictures! While most of the resource consists of ready-made worksheets (with answer keys) and blank templates, I also make suggestions for how students can be extended, and follow on activities for fun. If you're interested in buying this resource, it is available at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and at a reduced price for the first week.
My second idea is Mini Place Value Booklets:
With these booklets students demonstrate their ability to read, write and represent numbers to 1000. Students cut on the bold lines and fold on the dotted lines and it creates a little booklet. My thought is that students will make a number of these and then glue them in numerical order on a separate piece of paper/card to demonstrate their ability to order numbers. I am thinking that I will provide them with a two-digit and three-digit booklet, and then allow them to choose other numbers (possibly by using a random number generator on my interactive whiteboard). I am still working on this resource at the moment, but it should be available at my store in the next couple of weeks. Update (13 May 2013): This resource is now available here.
Creating valuable assessment tasks is always a challenge, particularly in order to gain an accurate demonstration of what students are capable of. I will be using these in a couple of weeks time and will then have a better sense of their effectiveness in gaining the sort of information we are hoping for.