Targeting for Success in Math

Over at Scholastic’s Math Hub, Carolyn Kaemmer has an interesting interview with Harvard psychologist,  Dr. Jon Star on conceptual understanding in math.  In the interview, Dr. Star tackles the controversial distinction between ‘knowing versus doing’ in mathematics, e.g. does the math student really understand what they’re doing or just following a process.  Star argues that a student’s math performance can, in fact, be determined through various modes of assessment, including multiple choice tests, though he qualifies his argument with the requirement that the assessment prompts need to be carefully designed.

The Quantile Framework is directly relevant here.  Unfortunately, assessments often fail to inform classroom teachers of their students needs or of their progress in mathematical development.  When summative assessments offer a Quantile measure for the test-taker, however, the teacher has information that is instructionally actionable.  The Quantile Framework for Mathematics helps the educator to determine the material that various students in the classroom are ready to learn when the Quantile measure of the student closely matches the Quantile measure of the skill or concept. When such a match occurs, students will perform more successfully and develop more confidence in their mathematics ability. (more…)

Differentiating Math Instruction

Scholastic’s Math Hub has a great post on using the Quantile Framework to differentiate math instruction.  Utilizing the Quantile Framework allows teachers to identify prerequisite math skills that students may need in order to be successful with a new math skill or concept and to then target students at the appropriate level:

The Quantile Framework measures student mathematical ability, the curriculum and teaching materials on the same developmental scale. Quantile measures help teachers determine which skills and concepts a student is ready to learn and those that will require more instruction. Educators can then use this information to better focus instruction to incorporate the necessary prerequisite skills that may be missing and accurately forecast understanding.

Math Hub does a nice job of summarizing the purpose of the benefits of the Quantile Framework.  Take a look.

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement organization. Our renowned psychometric team develops scientific measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.