# Dilation Games: Assessment That’s Fun

What does dilation feel like? I recently had the opportunity to work with a group of students who were testing activities that treat geometric transformations as functions (what I call geometric functions). I got lots of good ideas for improving the activities not only by watching the students, but also but also from their suggestions and the … Continue Reading ››

# Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Four

For the past month, I've focused this blog on the role that computers can play in assessing students' mathematical knowledge. I've presented three Web Sketchpad-based examples of assessment with mathematical topics ranging from isosceles triangles, to the Pythagorean Theorem, to the Continue Reading ››

# Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Three

Today there is no lack of outrage directed at the high-stakes standardized testing that has become so prevalent in the U.S. educational system. A recent opinion piece in The New York Times examines the backlash against the Common Core and lays the blame not on the standards themselves, but rather on … Continue Reading ››

# Innovative Approaches to Computer-Based Assessment, Part Two

In my previous post, I shared Dan Meyer's analysis of what's wrong with computer-based mathematics assessments. Dan focuses his critique on the Khan Academy's eighth-grade online mathematics course, identifying 74% of its assessment questions as focusing on numerical answers or multiple-choice items. This is a far cry from … Continue Reading ››

# Testing… 1, 2, 3… testing. This is a test. This is only a test.

Nothing like your back going out to make you feel old. Happens to me every few years, and comes out of the blue. Last time it was when I was brushing my teeth. This time it was tying my shoes. Anyway, after a hospital visit I was told to take a couple of days … Continue Reading ››

# Without Motivation, Standards and Assessment Are Worthless

I think all of us who have ventured into a high school classroom have faced the challenge of working with students who, for whatever reasons, are not motivated in class.  There are some reasons for this that go well beyond the scope of a math teacher's relationship with a student.  That said, the common approach … Continue Reading ››

# Show Me What You Know

I was recently reading a blog where a debate raged regarding the validity of a math activity.  The debate, as I saw it, is between: Side A:  Proponents of math activities that contain a minimum amount of given information so that students must hypothesize, test, and conjecture in order to arrive upon a reasonable … Continue Reading ››

# A Farmer Knows That You Can’t Fatten Pigs by Weighing Them All the Time

Unfortunately, some education policy folks believe that the more you test students, the smarter they become. This past weekend I participated in a meeting hosted by COMAP where the primary topic of discussion was the upcoming assessments tied to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Among the participants were curriculum developers and representatives from both … Continue Reading ››

# What about pseudo-data analysis?

There was a time when education was a politician’s refuge.  When a candidate wanted to look caring and populist, they would go to a local school, take some photos, and proclaim that children are the future (preferably sung along with Whitney Houston) and the US (or fill in your constituency) has the best schools in … Continue Reading ››

# Assessment items in need of improvement

I'm being nice with that title. I was helping my daughter prepare for an upcoming state assessment (state to remain anonymous) and I was looking over the released items before giving it to her. I was dismayed at a number of items that were written in an attempt to be "real life" problems. Roll the … Continue Reading ››