Scaffolding Numeracy in the Middle Years: Conducting the Assessment

To conduct the assessment in your class:

Be prepared

Make sure that you have read through the advice on the Before You Start page. It includes important information about:

  • the Learning and Assessment Framework
  • downloading the booklets
  • specific task instructions
  • time allocation
  • materials
  • preparing your students
  • showing a worked example.

Distribute the booklets

Make sure that you have downloaded, printed and read through the selected tasks in either:

Students should use the same booklet for all of the tasks. The booklets therefore need to be issued, collected and re-issued until all tasks are completed. Tasks need to be completed in the order they appear in the Task Booklet.

Students will need:

  • their own copy of an assessment booklet
  • pens, pencils and erasers
  • any materials specified for a particular task.

Students will not need:

  • rulers
  • scrap paper or jotters
  • calculators (not permitted).

Instruct the students

Treat this as you would a normal class assessment activity. If appropriate, avoid using the word ‘test’.

Stress that the activity is about finding out what students know and can do, to inform future teaching decisions.

Before starting the tasks, students should be given an opportunity to:

  • discuss what is expected
  • understand how the tasks will be assessed
  • work through an example.

For more detail and access to the worked example, please see the information in the Before You Start page.

When the students are ready to start the tasks, go through the following instructions:

  • please do as much of each task as you can
  • all working must be shown in this booklet
  • if you need more space, please use the back of the page, but make sure we know where to find your answer
  • do your best to write down what you did and why, in the space provided
  • if you have any questions please ask your teacher.

Encourage working notes

Students may be reluctant to show all of their working and should be encouraged to explain their answers in as much detail as possible. For example, ask your students to:

  • “Show all your working and explain your answer in as much detail as possible ”
  • “Explain your reasoning using as much mathematics as you can”
  • “Use as much mathematics as you can to support your answer.”

Provide support

The object of the exercise is not that students get the right answer, but that they are given an opportunity to demonstrate what they actually do know and can do largely on their own.

Teachers can support students by answering questions without telling them what to do. Avoid providing so much support that students are able to complete the task with little understanding of what they are doing or why.

Teachers may:

  • read the task to any student with reading problems
  • scribe an oral explanation for students whose thinking may not otherwise be fairly represented
  • explain unusual words as required.

Scoring and Next Steps

The next steps after conducting the assessment involve scoring your students and locating them on the LAF. Find out how the scoring rubrics, student score sheets and the LAF raw score translator work.