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Teacher Resources/Mathematics
Mathematics Assessment: A Video Library, K-12

A video library for K-12 educators; 5 video programs (from a half-hour to one hour in length) and guide

This video library portrays the Assessment Standards and Purposes of Assessment of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Showing classrooms where informal and formal assessments are used, the programs help educators sort through many options. They also help teachers see the link between instruction and assessment.

Produced by WGBH Boston. 1997.

Closed Caption     ISBN: 1-57680-073-3
Group assessment
Group assessment

Individual Program Descriptions
Buy Videos and Materials
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Individual Program Descriptions

VOD1. Introduction
The short introductory video acquaints viewers with the library and its components.

VOD2. Case Study: Animals in Yellowstone (Elementary)
A fourth- and fifth-grade class uses a field trip to Yellowstone National Park to practice estimation skills and develop an understanding of large numbers. Student groups must agree on a reasonable estimate of the numbers of bison, elk, or pronghorn sheep that live in the park. Their teacher uses various methods to assess their reasoning skills and level of understanding.

VOD3. Case Study: Problem Solvers Fall and Spring (Elementary)
This two-part program visits a combined first and second grade classroom in the fall and the following spring. A fall lesson has the entire class working in groups to estimate the number of seeds in a pumpkin. The following spring student groups solve individual problems, and then write problems of their own creation using informal language to describe mathematical situations.

VOD4. Teacher Insights K-4 (Elementary)
Six elementary school teachers explain the variety of assessement techniques they use. Consulting educators examine the teachers' comments and strategies within the context of the NCTM Assessment Standards.

VOD5. Case Study: Fraction Tracks (Middle School)
Students play the Fraction Tracks game, which requires them to move pieces along number lines on a game board to get from zero to one. The teacher assesses their knowledge of equivalent fractions as they play.

VOD6. Case Study: Building Rafts With Rods (Middle School)
Seventh- and eighth-grade students are challenged to calculate the surface area and volume of a raft built with 1 to 10 rods, graph their data, develop a formula for the task, and write a question that will explain the task to subsequent classes. The activity helps their teacher assess their ability to recognize patterns and develop functions.

VOD7. Teacher Insights 5-8 (Middle School)
Seven middle school teachers explain their uses of assessment in their classrooms. Two guest commentators underscore the learning opportunities presented by various assessments.

VOD8. Case Study: Ferris Wheel (High School)
High school math students must develop a function which describes the position of a rider on a double Ferris wheel. The previous assignment asked for a similar function, but for a single Ferris wheel. Their teacher moves about the room listening as groups discuss how to set up the problem and asks carefully framed questions to make sure they're on the right track.

VOD9. Case Study: Group Test (High School)
A high school teacher presents a four-problem semester review test on the uses of functions in mathematical modeling. Students work in groups to complete the test using graphing calculators, resource sheets, and group discussion to find the solutions. This approach allows the teacher to give his students more challenge questions and assess their ability to work collaboratively.

VOD10. Teacher Insights 9-12 (High School)
Seven high school teachers discuss their methods for assessing student learning, and encouraging students' self-assessment. Guest commentators offer additional comments on individual teachers remarks as well as on a group discussion of teachers.

VOD11. Beyond Testing
Teachers, administrators, parents and policymakers discuss some of the issues related to new types of assessment, such as finding time to plan; efficient ways to gather, record and anaylze daily observations; learning to use tools such as portfolios and rubrics; and gaining support from administrators. The video provides background information on assessment issues and some questions for further discussion.


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