Better Math Questions for Better Answers: Teaching for the Common Core
In the first webinar for the edWeb.net Assessment for Learning community, Dan Levin, President and Founder of EducAide Software, demonstrated how to turn ordinary skills-based questions into the kinds of multi-step questions and tasks which are at the heart of the Common Core math standards. The discussion was practical and based on real-world examples, mostly taken from state-released tests that need to be “updated” for CCSS. Dan explored various techniques that go beyond the hiding of multiple-choice answers, or simply converting questions to free-response. The techniques included putting questions in context, such as adding background information, pictures and graphs or relating mathematical terms to everyday language. He also shared ideas for replacing given information with charts and tables that require interpretation, or changing a single-step exercise into guided and unguided steps to deepen the student’s understanding. Dan stressed the importance of tying it all together by connecting questions with other standards. The techniques presented were relevant to all teachers at all levels, but this particular webinar focused on grades 3-12 math.
Assessment for Learning is a professional learning community (PLC) that provides ideas and resources for teachers to help them with instruction and real-time, formative assessment. The best practices, which are researched-based and relatively easy to introduce into the classroom, can have a tremendous impact on student achievement.
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