Assessments and Conferring During Math Workshop

This is my final week (unless someone requests something specifically about it) of my Guided Math Workshop Blog Series! In case you missed last week’s post about Guided Math Instruction, you can click here to read it!

So, now it’s time for some of the more tough questions… grades, assessments, and conferring! Oh, yeah!

Learn more about assessing your students while conferring with them during math workshop and grab a freebie with this post! Check it out!

How to do Assessments & Conferring in Math Workshop

Really, in math, it’s not as tough as it may seem. When I have my students meet with me during guided math/small groups, I will often make notes on my observation sheet of what I am seeing as they work. For instance, I may notice that a student is having trouble remembering to carry numbers or needs a quick refresher on fractions. I also write down a quick note of what I did with the students that day. For instance, if I reviewed basic fractions and they grasped it quickly, I may make a note that we went ahead and started working on equivalent fractions. These notes help me decide my next plan when working with them in small groups. I will also place on this sheet any of my previous notes from my sticky notes that I took during the mini-lesson. I have included the sheet I use for my observations below. You can download it FREE if you would like to use it. It’s nothing fancy, just basic. It gets the job done!

Click this picture or the link above to download a FREE copy of my math workshop observations sheet!

In addition to my observations, I decide my math groups based on how they do on pretests. I love pretests! Such a wealth of information. However, the hardest part for me is to get it in before I start the unit. Sometimes I’m scrambling to check them over after I started the unit. (It’s that procrastinating side of me!). I also will periodically use a quick check (or a slip with just a few questions related to the lesson) for my closing, similar to a ticket out the door. This will help me see if some students still need to be pulled for review or one-on-one assistance. I have analyzed math journals as well as I have found that students that can’t always explain what they did or how they arrived at the answer need some extra reinforcement.

So that’s it. There really isn’t much to assessments and conferring — it turns out to be a lot more simple than you might have thought! I would love to hear how you do things in your classroom for math workshop! I’d also love to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to comment below and I’ll gladly answer them the best I can. Finally, if there is anything special you’d like to see me post about with math workshop, let me know!

Happy Teaching!




 The Nitty Gritty:

  • Assessments and conferring during math workshop are not as difficult to do as they may seem.
  • Take notes of what you see as the students work on a few problems during the mini-lesson and then later as well when they are working in the small groups with you.
  • Use pretests, quick checks, and math journals to help you gather information on your students. This information will help guide your instruction.

Pin for Later:

Learn more about assessing your students while conferring with them during math workshop and grab a freebie with this post! Check it out!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kerri

    When do you have one-on-one conferences with a student? Is it during the small group rotation with the teacher on an as-needed basis?

    1. Tammy

      I typically keep it to the small group rotations, but if I notice something really glaring, I may get my small group started on something and go visit that individual then for a one on one conference. Of course, you can always build it into your workshop. Just use the first few minutes or so when students get started to meet with 5 students or so each day- before you start your rotations.

Comments are closed.