How to know when you’re assessing for mastery
Some of you also asked the question: “when they were completing [Question 1], they were fine. When they were completing [Question 2], they were also fine. But when they had to complete [Question 3], they would mess up.”
Do you sometimes see that? Probably because in Question 1 and Question 2, I let you do what you want. Because even though I suggest you count on, if you do other methods, I wouldn’t find out. You can actually use other methods, but in Question 3, you are arm-twisted into adding in this way.
Check on learners’ mathematical thinking skills
So what you sometimes see is students do not know what to do with all of this [Question 3’s method]. They have no idea.
“What do I write here? What do I write here?”
But if you say to them, “oh, nevermind this, can you add…” straight away, they know the answer. But the moment you say, “okay, but what about this [Questions 3’s method] again,” they’re lost.
So do you sometimes see that some children get thrown off by this? That’s because these students are perfectly competent in adding, but they are not competent in taking perspective. They can add using their own method, but when asked to understand another person’s way of doing things, and then use that way of looking at things, they get thrown off.
See whether learners understand other problem-solving methods
So all Singapore textbooks have these two kinds of tasks. Because the Singaporean education system requires students to learn to take perspective. Taking perspective is one of the important things that we think students need to have. So when children are able to do this task, the indicator is: on top of being able to do the maths, he or she is able to understand someone else’s thinking. So that’s assessment data for you.
So you know: can they compute? Can they take perspective?
Then on top of that, look at their journal. Have they exceeded the demands of the curriculum?
These are the three pieces of information that you will be able to get from both the workbook and the journal.