Group assessment

It is good teaching practice to occasionally step back and assess what progress your group of students has made in understanding patterns.

For this purpose, it is appropriate to give all students the same task. How they approach this task, without any input from their teacher, can be very revealing.

In a group assessment, teachers may assign students to work alone, in pairs or in small groups.

The task may be relatively restricted (e.g. similar to tasks done in class), a little challenging (e.g. an extension of a classroom task) or entirely creative (e.g. make a three-dimensional pattern from cubes). Whatever is done, students need to record the outcomes of their activity.

Students’ understanding of patterns may be assessed both by observation of how they approach the task in class and by analysis of student work afterwards.

Designing group assessment

Group assessments must be carefully designed if they are to provide useful information about student understanding.

An open-ended task

A teacher gave her class the task of making a house with some pattern or patterns in it. The results were most interesting.