We have AIMSweb for tracking Reading fluency, but it is unlikely that we will get it for Math due to budget tightening. I'm just wondering if those of you who use it, find it helpful? Could you give me specific benefits/drawbacks?
We just started using it this year and I'm not a fan. It seems pretty pointless to me. At our level, the kids are given 38 random problems (computation and word problems) to solve in 8 minutes. There are plenty of kids who are great at math, but not super fast-that's not taken into account. Another issue is kids who have reading difficulties. That will definitely affect their score, but there's no way to account for that. My biggest beef with the test is there's no analysis of who or how many are missing questions based on particular content. It's not designed to track anything like that, so it's pretty much useless and didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about my kids.
Sorry to be so negative, but I had hight hopes for this program and IMO it's a huge waste of time and money.
I wouldn't feel like you are missing out. Our kids get 4 minutes to do as many addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division times as possible. There is a benchmark, so the kids who don't meet are put on a warning list. The scores are analyzed and those students are provided with remediation.
Basically, you could very easily create your own mad minute type of test and do the same thing. I always have high kids that score low because they aren't super fast. I also have low kids that score high because they might know their facts by heart, even if they NO number sense.
I'm not saying that it is not a good tool, but I think it is only one small tool that could be used for math assessment. It only provides a small snapshot at how a child is doing.
Thanks, roo & PEPteach, I have been thinking of making a tracking Excel spread sheet for my math students. That would take the place of the AIMSweb Math portion of our data collection. I would really like to have some data to share with parents that shows the lack of fluency with basic facts. I do believe that has hindered our understanding of higher mathematics manipulations. Yes, they need to understand why 6 + 4 = 10 and 6 x 4 = 24. Absolutely! But they also need to be able to recall those facts quickly. We struggle with multiplication (2 digit by 2 digit) and with long division because many of the students just don't know their facts. They make silly errors in basic addition and subtraction. I see many students using fingers to subtract 7 - 6 or they make errors in their subtraction 12 - 5 = 13 because they just flip flopped the 5 and 2. I've been teaching 4th grade for MANY years and it just seems to get worse every year.
Do you know what AIMSweb considers to be "fluent" or "warning" or
"danger" levels? Currently we use a 4 second rule per basic fact, but I see from your response that AIMSweb tracking is a mixed bag of questions on each monitor test. A little guidance on what those levels are would be appreciated.
My district uses AIMSweb for reading and math as a basis for Rti. I don't think either test is good. It's all based on time. If you are a fluent reader who takes your time and puts emphasis into the reading...you going to score low because you didn't speed read. You can guess on the maze...it's a one out of three chance. The same for the math...if you take your time to answer to really read and questions and check your work...you will score low. We also do another part for math which is just computation. It counts answers is a weird way. Say the problem is 6 + 5 and the student aswers 1 (they subtracted) they would still receive one point for the 1 in the ones place (The correct answer of 11 would be worth 2 points.)
Thanks for the input, lancermom. After giving this considerable thought, I believe we will make our own assessments that focus on one operation at a time. Still not sure about what level will be mastery, nearing mastery, and danger zones. Any input into that would be appreciated.
I teach only reading, and also use Aimsweb. My co-teacher uses the 2 Aimsweb math probes. I totally "get" the idea of progress monitoring, but I do know that it takes so much teacher time to check something that students are mainly guessing on. The math takes much more time to grade, as each probe is several pages long.
We just started tracking kindergarten and first grades with the math fluency tests. I teach Title so I found it quite helpful at the first grade level. I discovered that most of my group could not recognize the numbers to 20, orally count to 100, decide which number was greater (1-20), or find the missing number. Instead of following the curriculum in the classroom, I spent several weeks specifically teaching these concepts and the students finally mastered most of them. ( still working on the missing number). We have moved on to work with the classroom doing addition and subtraction.
It gives a general score for a wide variety of math skills. It would be difficult to use if you want to know which students are missing certain skills. You would have to look through each test and pull out that information one at a time.