I’m a little late…but, here’s my week 2 “My Favorite” post for the Explore MTBoS blogging initiative.
The Charles A. Dana Center out of The University of Texas at Austin has put together a great set of tasks for eliciting student thinking.
One of my favorite tasks that I have used with 8th graders (for years) is called Mosaics.
Because we spend time making sense of the patterns from the Visual Patterns site, this task works well as an independent assessment task.
I particularly like question one in that it asks students to represent the problem in at least three ways–they are not told how to represent the problem. I like to see if they will use a table, graph, etc.
Also, it’s interesting to see how different students “see” the pattern growing and how they choose to show that thinking.
And my FAVORITE piece of student work for this task incorporated the independent use of “noticing…”
Here is a link to additional student work from this task. We’ve used this task, along with the student work, as part of our back-to-school professional development on using a examining student work protocol.
Dana Center tasks are not a free resource…but you can find some sample items for free. Doing a Google search for Dana Center Algebra 1 Tasks will yield these results. You can purchase a book of these tasks here, or on CD here.