Last year, at any given time, about one-third of my tests were old skills ‘wrapped’ in a new geometry context. .. the assumption was always: These problems are an excuse to make my students do algebra because they still need to learn it and these problems will force them to do so.
Reflection 1: This is fundamentally dishonest – I’m ‘tricking’ my students into learning algebra by making it reappear throughout the whole year.
Reflection 2: This practice kept the cognitive demand of my classroom at a continually low level.
Another great post from Dan Schneider over at MathyMcMatherson. Visit the post for interesting questions about the relationship between teaching and assessment. I think that I would challenge his take on curriculum — he writes that curriculum is “the order that I present mathematical ideas” — but he’s got great thoughts about the ways that assessment decisions can drive daily decision-making. If you’re part of the SBG crowd, you’ll want to check this post out.