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Assessment: example

Please note this example is intended as a guide - experienced teachers should use their professional judgement to determine the level of detail necessary to inform their teaching and learning.

Example: Assessment in mathematics

This example is based on the continuum of assessment methods detailed in Assessment in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Schools (NCCA, 2007)  and is by way of illustration only.

The teacher is planning for the assessment in Mathematics with reference to the eight methods identified in this continuum. However, a teacher may prefer to plan for assessment across the curriculum as a whole rather than doing so separately for every subject.  

  • Self assessment - the child reflects on his/her own work using criteria set beforehand by the teacher and class: What did I do well? What can I do better next time? Specific approaches to assist the child in self assessment are detailed in the guidelines document.
  • Conferencing - assist the child to reflect on his/her work by asking how an assignment was completed: What did you find easy to do? Was there anything you found difficult? What part do you find especially difficult? Where do you think you need more help?
  • Portfolio - provides an opportunity for collaborative assessment whereby the teacher and child may together look and talk about the child’s work, identifying positive features and points for improvement. The portfolio in mathematics may, for example, include charts or diagrams.
  • Concept mapping - graphically assists the children to draw together the information they already have and understand about a particular strand unit or topic, and incorporate new information in their thinking as they learn.
  • Questioning -  use of higher order thinking questions to assess the child’s progress in developing higher order skills including sequencing, analyzing data, making inferences and deducting.
  • Teacher observation - observing the child’s play and activity, written work, discussion and questioning during class or group work. (Record specific strengths or difficulties in a notebook). 
  • Teacher designed tasks and tests - daily oral tables and mental maths, daily/weekly problem solving using individual/group tasks, daily/weekly written tests of numerical competence, revision and consolidation tasks based on the concepts and skills addressed in any given period.
  • Work samples - identifying and analysing common computation and methodology errors and to affirm the child’s progress and achievement. Work samples may be compiled in a folder in the classroom and are useful when reporting to parents and may also be passed on to the child’s next teacher.
  • Pupil profiles - to what extent has the child developed an understanding of the concepts and an ability to apply the skills?
  • Standardised testing – The test is administered to all children by the class teacher in accordance with the School Plan. The test data is used diagnostically as a means of identifying a child’s strengths and readiness for further learning.
  • Diagnostic testing - administered by the learning support/resource teacher. Support strategies are subsequently devised in consultation with class teacher.