In my opinion, the best part of the Common Core math standards are the Standards for Mathematical practice (hereafter referred to as MP’s). Through all of my conversations and trainings in my district regarding implementation of Common Core, it has been my understanding that students are to be assessed in the MP’s. The struggle? How to do it.
Enter one of my favorite websites: Estimation 180. My students L. O. V. E. this website. So far we have done days 1 and 2, and the buy-in is fantastic! They get right down to business: talking, asking questions, arguing with each other–it’s great!
Here is why I love it–I can see and assess how they use the MP’s:
1) MP 3 (construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others): I see this through their discussions with each other, and I always have them write a statement qualifying their estimate.
2) MP 5 (use appropriate tools strategically): sometimes they find it necessary to whip out a ruler or meter stick, other times they need a calculator. I have them explain why they chose that tool.
3) MP 7 (look for and make use of structure): they use known information to help them solve new problems (in the case of Day 1 they used the height of a teacher on campus to help them estimate Mr. Stadel’s height, and on Day 2, since they already knew Mr. Stadel’s height they used that–and my height, which they asked for–to help estimate Mrs. Stadel’s height). I assess this through their discussions and through the qualifying statement they make at the end of their estimate.