One of my secrets to my students crushing those standardized tests is the use of math benchmark assessments. When I started to implement them in my 3rd grade classroom, I was able to track my students’ growth, identify weaknesses, and create differentiated data-driven lessons like I had never before. It was a total game changer. If you aren’t already using math benchmark assessments or are looking to improve your system for progress monitoring, continue reading below!
This blog post will answer the following questions about math benchmarks:
- Can you tell me what a benchmark assessment is?
- What are math benchmark assessments?
- What is the difference between a benchmark assessment and a formative assessment?
- Why should I use benchmark tests?
- How do you create a benchmark assessment?
- What are some examples of benchmarks?
What is a Benchmark Assessment?
A benchmark assessment is a test given 2-4 times during the school year to evaluate students and measure their progress toward achieving grade-level standards. They are often given across a grade level, whole school, or district. They are often called interim assessments or benchmark tests. This is a simple benchmark assessment definition; however, it gives you a general idea of what it is and how it is used.
What is a Benchmark Test in Math?
A benchmark test in math is an assessment tool that supports teachers in monitoring their students’ progress toward grade level math standards. Teachers use this information to design differentiated data-based lessons to meet students’ needs. Find an example of a math benchmark test (also called a numeracy benchmark) for your grade level further down below.
Benchmark Assessment vs. Formative Assessment
Benchmark assessments share characteristics with formative assessments and summative assessments. Teachers use the information from benchmark assessments like they do formative assessments in that they use the results to identify weaknesses, plan lessons to address those gaps, and deliver appropriate instruction in a short time frame. Benchmarks are different from formatives (and similar to summative assessments) in that they are more formal and are given across a whole grade level, school, or district. Formative assessments are traditionally given to one class and are less formal.
What is the Purpose of a Benchmark Test?
The purpose of a benchmark test is to provide real-time data to teachers, which they use to inform their instruction. Specifically, teachers use the data to plan purposeful, differentiated, and targeted instruction to address students’ weaknesses and gaps. My favorite way to do this is through Guided Math Workshop groups.
How to Create Benchmark Assessments in 10 Steps
Here are 10 steps for creating math benchmark assessments:
- Identify which standards you are assessing.
- Write 3-10 questions for each standard. Make sure you are addressing all parts of each standard.
- Develop a grading system.
- Create a template for the questions to go into.
- Insert the questions into the template.
- Duplicate the file by how many times you will be administering the benchmark assessments (usually 2-4).
- Tweak the numbers, names, and situations of the questions, while still staying true to the standard.
- Create an answer key for each version.
- Save the assessments on your computer and print them. Consider printing a master copy and keeping it in your assessment binder.
- Make copies of the benchmark assessments.
5 Benchmark Assessment Examples
If you need an example of math benchmark assessment tests for your grade level, then check out the examples below! They are printable and digital!
- 1st Grade Benchmark Test Math Assessments
- 2nd Grade Benchmark Test Math Assessments
- 3rd Grade Benchmark Test Math Assessments
- 4th Grade Benchmark Test Math Assessments
- 5th Grade Benchmark Test Math Assessments
5 Quick Check Assessment Examples
If you need an example of math quick assessments for your grade level, then check out the examples below! They are printable and digital!
- 1st Grade Math Quick Check Assessments
- 2nd Grade Math Quick Check Assessments
- 3rd Grade Math Quick Check Assessments
- 4th Grade Math Quick Check Assessments
- 5th Grade Math Quick Check Assessments
Math Resources for 1st-5th Grade Teachers
If you need printable and digital math resources, then check out the math collections below. They will save you lots of time creating and search for materials. You will have a massive collection of resources at your fingertips.
Try a Collection of our Math Resources for Free!
We hope this information about math benchmark assessments is helpful and would love for you to try these math resources with your students. They offer elementary students opportunities to practice grade level concepts and skills in fun and engaging ways. You can download worksheets specific to your grade level (along with lots of other math freebies) in our free printable math resources bundle using this link: free printable math activities for elementary teachers.
Check out these other math resources!