Performance stations allow students to either discover or revisit concepts.
In discovery stations, students are presented with a problem or a question
where they need to decide on strategies to solve the problem. Students discover
patterns, relationships or mathematical understandings. In activity stations
designed to revisit concepts, student's practise skills or use alternate strategies
to review concepts.
Performance stations can also be worded in such a way that students can be assessed on their knowledge of concepts and their ability to use what they know in new situations. Performance testing allows students to use strategies that cater to their learning styles. Manipulatives are provided for the hands-on learner. Teachers can follow each students thinking process by carefully wording questions that enable students to explain their work and to reflect upon what they know and what they have learned.
|What is performance assessment?|
It is assessment based on students' demonstration of their ability to use the
skills they have learned and the conceptual understanding they have developed
in the context of real-world application or of complex problems.
can display all their ability, not just speed and accuracy
can be more creative
do their own organising and thinking
realise that mathematics is not memorisation but a process
are more easily motivated with real tasks
experience the usefulness and power of mathematics
meld assessment within instruction
can better assess strengths and weaknesses of student understanding
of the instructional process
collect more complete information for planning and programming
allow for investigations and long-term problems
incorporate manipulatives in the assessment process
see examples of real performance
can be provided with comprehensive evaluation of student ability
understand more clearly the evaluation of the math program
see evidence that students are learning to think
make connections between school and real life
are presented a broader picture of a rich curriculum
|Criteria for performance tasks|
The task must
reflect the curriculum.
use appropriate processes of learning.
lead to other problems, raise other
questions and possibilities.
be thought-provoking and foster perseverance.
allow for the student to be the worker and the decision maker.
provides opportunity for interaction and the deepening of
meaning and understanding.
be safe, developmentally appropriate and can be done at
school or at home.
develop thinking in a variety of styles and contribute to
have more than one answer and provide opportunity
for multiple approaches for accomplishing it.
Ideas for tasks can be
found in textbook and resource materials
developed from newspapers, etc.
You can organize the performance tasks
as one centre in the classroom and students take turns at
the centre throughout the day
to last throughout an afternoon (1 1/2 hours - 2 hours) where
students rotate from one centre to the other
as cooperative learning groups
as group work or as individual tasks
as research projects or homework
|Assessment techniques (teacher and self-evaluation)|
Assessment is accomplished through
observation and questioning
portfolio and journal writing (with the help of rubrics)
presentations and projects
Assessment in Mathematics: Myths, Models, Good Questions and Practical Ideas.
This is an NCTM publication written in 1991. This book can be ordered from the Book Bureau (#6745) for $11.00. The video that accompanies this book can be ordered through the NCTM. (Also see other references listed in the curriculum guide.)
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