Four blog posts about using student ideas

Wees Assessment Cycle Art

I wrote four blog posts for NCTM’s Mathematics in the Middle School blog on using student work to understand and plan around student ideas. Each post is about using student work to make inferences about how they understand mathematical ideas and then using those inferences to help you plan. Note that these posts are actually relevant for mathematics educators at all levels.

  1. What Knowledge Do You Need to Plan a Unit?
  2. Categorizing Student Work
  3. Using Student Work Meaningfully
  4. The Mathematics of Students

While these posts focus on qualitative information about student learning, this doesn’t mean quantitative information isn’t useful. I have just found that quantitative information abounds while qualitative information seems to be rarely used in systematic ways.




  • The AAAS database you linked seems a really great resource. Are you aware of any effort to produce something similar for mathematics (or any other domains)?

    I only know of grassroots/ad hoc work like Michael Pershan’s mathmistakes site. No disrespect meant, but this is a different league.

  • David Wees wrote:

    As far as I know nothing even remotely similar to the AAAS database exists for mathematics education nor do I know of any systematic efforts to replicate it. It’s unfortunately because I think a systematic approach like this would be a valuable resource for our community.

  • […] David Wees: a math formative assessment specialist from New York (most recently), who tweets as @davidwees and blogs at about lots of important topics, like routines for supporting kids to make sense of problems and make their thinking visible, or, particularly appropriate to this panel, a series on using student ideas. […]

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