Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How can we assess 3.MD.B.3?

Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. For example, draw a bar graph in which each square in the bar graph might represent 5 pets. [3.MD.B.3]
Teaching-Learning Cycle
Teachers use #MTBoS as a way to find interesting and effective math lessons. Recently, some of us have noticed that assessments are often lacking as this community shares in the work of teaching. So I am proposing the #MTBoSAP (Math Teacher Blog-o-Sphere Assessment Project) as a way to pass along our wisdom and experience assessing students in our mathematics classes. I figured I could start by sharing some work I am doing in one of my courses for preservice elementary teachers.

The teachers are currently researching assessment items related to the Measurement & Data Domain (focusing on Data) from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Mathematics. One of the third-grade standards in that domain is written at the beginning of this post. Because we are partnering with a school district that uses EngageNY, we looked for assessment items that already existed within that curriculum. This is an exit ticket that we found in the Grade 3, Module 6, Lesson 4
We thought that this item did a fair job of assessing the last part of 3.MB.B.3 but completely missed the first part, "Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph..." So we looked through the rest of the lesson and thought this item from the problem set looked promising.
This item has students "draw a scaled bar graph" (still no scaled picture graph) and asks that they solve "two-step 'how many more' and 'how many less' problems." As we thought about it further, however, we were concerned that it was not clear whether students would use the chart or the graph to answer the questions.

Therefore, I decided to try to modify the original exit ticket in order to assess more of the standard. I got rid of two of the bars and wrote questions intended to have them "draw (a part of) a scaled bar graph" and answer multi-step questions that require some "information presented in scaled bar graphs."

Please complete the bar graph using the following information. 
  • The number of books checked out on Thursday was 10 more than the number of books checked out on Tuesday. Draw the Thursday bar.
  • 1,480 books were checked out Monday through Friday. Draw the Friday bar.

What are your thoughts about using this modified assessment item to gather data on students' mathematical understanding related to 3.MD.B.3? Do you have a good item for this standard that you'd be willing to share? If so, please share the item or a link to the item in the comments. Also, If you have any other effective CCSS assessment items, please share them on Twitter using #MTBoSAP. Thank you in advance for all you do to advance the profession.

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