Beginning of the Year Math Assessments
At the beginning of the year, it’s always incredibly important to get to know your students as readers and mathematicians. Having the right beginning of the year math assessments is crucial!
I always found it was much easier to get to know my students’ reading ability because we always had Fountas & Pinnell or DRA to use. However, when it came to math, I had to come up with my own assessments. The district assessments I had were not helpful.
While I often used paper/pencil, whole class assessments, it wasn’t exactly what I needed or wanted. Just like when I sat with my students to listen to them read, I longed for something similar with math. I needed something one-on-one that I could do with them to learn what they’re capable of!
Beginning of the Year Math Snapshots
So, I brainstormed and came up with a solution! I created kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, & 3rd grade “Math Snapshots”. Let me show you…
These assessments will help me get a “snapshot” of each student’s mathematical abilities. I broke down each snapshot into four categories, and there are 3-6 skills for each category.
Here’s a look at kindergarten, first grade, and second grade math snapshots.
Because these are for the beginning of the year, the skills on the checklist assess what your students remember from the previous grade.
I wanted to keep the design of these assessments as simple as possible. That’s why I created these little assessment rings.
Each skill you assess on the snapshot checklist has a corresponding assessment card. Depending on the skill, some may have more than one card. This will allow you to quickly grab your assessment ring and your snapshot checklist and be ready to go!
After you’ve completed a snapshot of each student, it’s time to actually USE the data! If you run guided math small groups, this is a great initial assessment to use to make your first round of groups.
Use the class spreadsheets to get an idea of where your whole class is at on any given skill. This will also give you a quick idea of which students you need to pull for targeted groups!
Having this kind of information is incredibly valuable. I know some teachers may consider it too “time-consuming” to sit with students and complete these; however, I think the benefit significantly outweighs the time! Plus, you don’t have to assess every skill at once! You might find it best to pick one or two important skills to assess each day.
One of the perfect times to pull your students one-one-one is when they’re exploring with new math manipulatives! Read all about how I do that over on this post!
Speaking of assessments, have you grabbed these free math exit tickets?