Approaches to assessment
It is important for a teacher to know what students are learning as a result of various pattern activities.
Some valuable approaches are detailed below.
- Observation of students' actions in class can give immediate feedback on the success of a particular learning activity.
- Analysis of student work will show what students have learnt through a particular activity.
- Individual interviews can provide supplementary information on the understanding of particular students and may identify the reasons for any difficulties.
- Group assessment can be valuable in summarising what students have learnt from a particular sequence of activities.
Other approaches include asking students, after they have completed a particular activity, to do one or more of the following.
- Summarise what they have learnt.
- Make up similar activities.
- Explain some hypothetical student errors.
- Predict what other students would do if they did not understand the concept well.
Observations of individual students during the course of pattern activities can provide immediate feedback to both teacher and students, as well as evidence of students' long-term development.
Analysis of student work
A quick review of student work can provide insight into general progress, as well as identifying difficulties that need further attention.
Individual interviews can help to identify student difficulties in understanding patterns. Interviews may be formal or informal.
Group assessment can indicate the general level of student understanding of patterns in a class. Tasks may be closed or open, and students may work individually or in small groups.