Journal writing is the assessment strategy that I became an ‘expert’ on, and I realized that it is beneficial in a mathematics classroom. Typically, journal writing is implemented once a week at the beginning or end of a lesson and students are to write about a given prompt for 10-15 minutes. Through journaling, students improve their problem solving skills, it encourages them to reflect on their mathematical thinking, and it helps the teacher identify misconceptions that the students might have. Below is a table that includes some journal writing prompts that I believe are beneficial.
Interviews is an assessment strategy that I didn’t know could be implemented into a mathematics classroom. Giving students the opportunity to choose which mathematics topic they want to be interviewed on gives them the confidence to verbally express their knowledge and understanding of the topic, and it allows the teacher to understand how the student thinks mathematically. Through interviews, students will also be “… developing their understandings of the language of mathematics and their ability to use mathematics as a language and representation system.” (SK Ministry of Education, 2010).
Portfolios is an assessment strategy that I believe has many benefits. Students can add mathematics assignments, journal writings, projects, and anything else they find important into their portfolios. When the portfolios are being added to on a weekly basis, students and teacher are able to see the students progress and identify which areas the students excel in and which areas they need more help in.
The assessment strategies that are being used should align with what is being taught and the objective of the lesson. If we only use the same two assessment strategies, it can “limit students’ ability or opportunity to show what they know.” (Davies, 2011). Having a variety of assessment strategies allows students to express their understandings in a variety of ways.