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Tasks and Rubrics for Balanced Mathematics Assessment in Primary and Elementary Grades

Judah L. Schwartz and Joan M. Kenney
Publisher: 
Corwin Press
Publication Date: 
2008
Number of Pages: 
196
Format: 
Paperback
Price: 
34.95
ISBN: 
9781412957311
Category: 
Monograph
[Reviewed by
Mark Bollman
, on
04/2/2008
]

“Balanced assessment” appears to be the name of a new approach to mathematics teaching and assessment at the K–8 level. The philosophy of this assessment approach is to answer the question “What is the structure of mathematics?”, and a division of the subject into “object” and “action” is proposed, to replace “content” and “process”.

This seems like an alternate choice of substructure worth examining; as a result, five categories of objects and four of actions are detailed. The new approach requires no changes in the mathematical content taught in the primary grades, but does suggest that students’ educational progress be measured against different criteria. The authors take care to indicate how this method of teaching corresponds to the 2006 NCTM Curriculum Focal Points.

In an effort to introduce this way of teaching and learning, the majority of the book is taken up with suggested classroom activities designed to assess student performance against these new standards. If this approach appeals to the reader, then a ready source of assessment tools is immediately available.

While designed primarily for elementary school teachers interested in this new approach to mathematics, the book might also be of interest to those of us who are involved in teacher education and like to keep tabs on what’s going on in grades K–6.


Mark Bollman (mbollman@albion.edu) is an associate professor of mathematics at Albion College in Michigan. His professional interests include number theory, probability, and geometry. His claim to be the only Project NExT fellow (Forest dot, 2002) who has taught both English composition and organic chemistry to college students has not, to his knowledge, been successfully contradicted. If it ever is, he is sure that his experience teaching introductory geology will break that deadlock.

Preface
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
1. Introduction to Balanced Assessment
2. Number and Quantity
Primary
Add-Rings
Birthday Cupcakes
TV Shows
A Very Long Hallway
Dot to Dot
Measuring the Marigolds
Table Talk
Leopard’s Leap
Add ‘Em Up
Elementary
Multiplication Rings
Fermi Four
Broken Calculators
Trouble With Tables
Broken Measures
Counting Off
Network News
Piece of String
3. Shape and Space
Primary
Grassy Parks
Stickers
Shirts in the Mirror
Elementary
Does It Fit?
Mirror, Mirror
Gardens of Delight
4. Pattern and Function
Primary
Wall Design
Calendar Moves
Elementary
Make a Map
Coding the Alphabet
5. Chance and Data
Primary
Beach Day
We Scream for Ice Cream
Elementary
Mixed Up Socks
Measure Me
6. Arrangement
Primary
Postal Puzzles
Shares
Elementary
Valentine Hearts
Millie & Mel’s
References
Index

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