A Quick & Effective Way to Check Math Proficiency

Throughout the year, I used my Common Core Math Assessments Packet to track data on my students’ progress towards proficiency with each standard. However, as the end of the year rolled around and state testing was penciled in on my calendar, I wanted to make sure I was able to target my students in guided math groups during our math workshop that may need extra support. I also wanted to do a quick check for understanding so I had recent and reliable documentation for report cards.

It was important to me that the process was both accurate and efficient since there were so many standards to check!  As a result, I developed the Common Core Math Quick Check Assessments. These formative assessments turned out to be a total game changer in my third grade classroom! So much so, that I created them for first, second, fourth, and fifth grade teachers too!

This blog post will…

  • explain how to prep the math quick check assessments for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classroom
  • suggest how to implement math quick checks in your classroom
  • recommend how to grade the math quick checks

How to Prep the Math Quick Checks for Classroom Use

  1. Print the entire packet. Perhaps consider storing an extra copy of this resource in an assessment binder or just keeping it as a digital file on your computer.
  2. Make copies. There are multiple student sheets on each page, so you only need to make 4-6 copies of each assessment. I chose to copy each domain onto a different color paper to increase organization, but that’s not something you have to do.
  3. Cut the assessment page into strips. Put all 5 copies of each assessment together in a pile and cut them using a paper cutter or perhaps just a pair of scissors. Use a paperclip to hold each set together.
  4. Write your students’ names on the scoring sheet and gather a red, green, and yellow marker.

How to Implement Math Quick Checks in Your Elementary Classroom
You have 2 choices:
  1. Administer the assessments to the entire class at once. The benefit of this way is that it is time efficient. It should take less than 5 minutes! Perhaps consider giving it as an exit ticket at the end of your math block before transitioning to the next lesson or as a quick morning work task.
  2. Give the assessments in a small guided math group.  The benefit of this way is that you can watch the students while they solve the problem and collect really meaningful data in addition to whether or not they got the problems correct.  You can take notes and measure how long they take on it, how confidently they approach the task, and what strategies they use.

How to Grade the Math Quick Checks

  1. Do a quick sort after the entire class takes the assessment.  Specifically, look at each paper to check the accuracy and sort them into 2 piles: 100% correct pile and 1 or more wrong.
  2. Take the 100% correct pile and put a "check plus" onto the paper and use a green marker to record a check on the class score sheet.
  3. Go through the papers that had errors, circled the mistakes, and analyze the results for misconceptions. If a child had one wrong, record a yellow check on the scoresheet. If a child had 2 or 3 wrong, put a red check on the scoresheet. This “stoplight” method of recording allows you to see at a glance both how each student performed as well as the overall understanding of the class on each standard.
  4. Use the results to determine which standards should be retaught in a whole class mini lesson format, small group instruction format, or one-on-one intervention format.

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