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 reading assessments 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
These assessments are designed so you can get a “snapshot” of each student’s mathematical abilities. They are broken down into four categories, and there are 3-6 skills for each category.
Because these are for the beginning of the year, the skills on the checklist assess what your students remember from the previous grade.
Click here to see all of the one-on-one beginning of the year math assessments!
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 beginning of the year math assessment to use to make your first round of groups.
Two Ways to Track Student Progress
There are two ways to track students’ progress throughout the year. First, each beginning of the year math assessment includes class spreadsheets to organize data. This will help you get an idea of where your entire 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!
Second, it’s important of students to have a way to track their progress. That’s why I created these free math skills goal sheets. These align with the end of the year grade level math expectations in a succinct, student-friendly way.
You can grab these goal sheets for free below!
Download the FREE GOAL SHEETS!
Beginning of the Year Math Assessments Are the Key to Success
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 during the first month of guided math! Read all about how I do that over on this post!