Math Progress Monitoring

Every teacher has to do some sort of progress monitoring. In my building we reading very, very well--it's second nature. But math we just can't seem to get our hands around. For me as well. I have two small math intervention groups and I have to say I relay on student work samples to determine if they have it or not. This is not enough to determine a student has a math disability or even if they are making progress within the intervention. Exit tickets work to show what if the student got the material taught that day and can be used as part of the data collection but for me these tend to be once or twice a week. One of the classroom teachers, I co-teach with during math uses them to make his small groups during the unit--they don't cover skills from previous units or missing skills. These are all great things but according to Colorado not enough or the right thing. (Go figure--that they tell you this know half way through the year.)

Colorado has outlined what a math intervention needs to look like and what the progress monitoring needs to be. (This would have been great to know- oh I don't know like in August. But moving on.) Interventions should be no longer than 10 weeks with a clearly defined baseline from a diagnostic measure with weekly progress monitoring. The instruction should cover no more than two to four domains as a focus for instruction (i.e., combinations to 10, skip counting by 5’s, counting across 100). My lesson plan should be broken into two pieces:

  • Inquiry mode: Activity that produces something new for the student (involves challenging, but solvable tasks)
  • Rehearsal mode: Develop automaticity with something that has been learned before
The instruction should be explicit and systematic. This includes providing models of proficient problem solving, verbalization of thought processes, guided practice, corrective feedback, and frequent cumulative review.
  • Ensure that instructional materials are systematic and explicit. In particular, they should include numerous clear models of easy and difficult problems, with accompanying teacher think-alouds.
  • Provide students with opportunities to solve problems in a group and communicate problem-solving strategies.
  • Ensure that instructional materials include cumulative review in each session
My students have the black and white part down in math. They can use the algorithm and have their basic facts down. It's word problems they have the most problem with. I have several that just shut down when they are come across one. With this in mind, I talked with my coach before break and we talked about what progress monitoring could look like and still make the state happy. I have created a ten-week word problem progress monitoring tool that I started to use with on of my groups. Its based off our 1st grade math curriculum; most are single questions and all are addition and subtraction. I give them twice a week with one posted on the board and one in front of them. This makes it easier for them, since they have to complete it using Explain Everything. (A student favorite.) 

Why word problems? Word problems tell you more about what a student needs. Can they explain their thinking? Did they get the right answer but can't tell you how they got there? This describes my student. My curriculum has more word problem type of thinking than algorithms. Plus, this where Common Core is taking us. Scoring word problems is rubric based--so even if they get the wrong answer they can still get points for explaining how their thinking. Which is why I love using Explain Everything--the word gets done because they don't have to write their thinking.  Click on the picture to a copy. 

I'm planning on creating more since I'm needing them before returning to work next month. I hop you have a wonderful Christmas Break and safe travels if you are out visiting family and friends. See you all next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. This is also a problem that I run into with my math students. It's easy to find calculation assessments for progress monitoring, but not for word problems. Jacqui@?Resource Room Rules


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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