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    How to assess multiplication and division for special education

    FREE mini-course

    Hi, I'm Colleen!

    I created "How to Assess Multiplication and Division for Special Education" professional development mini-course because I once struggled to help my students understand and master their math facts. Since then, I've learned A LOT about how children develop multiplication and division knowledge and how we can measure their math thinking. I created this professional development course so I could share all this information with you!

    What if you could peek into your students' minds and find out EXACTLY what they know about multiplication and division and discover their gaps in math knowledge?

    You'd be able to tailor your instruction to their precise areas of need and build on their strengths.  

    Guess what?

    You can!

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    Trying out different teaching strategies day after day but not getting any results.

    No matter what game or activity or worksheet or technique you try, your students just don't seem to be making any improvement in their multiplication and division skills.

    Unsure where to even start.

    Should you start by drilling the 2 times tables? Are flashcards even a good idea? You think you should be using more manipulatives, but you're not sure how.

    Your students are losing motivation (and so are you!)

    They're trying hard but they know those multiplication facts just aren't sticking. They realize that some of their peers are moving ahead in math more quickly than they are. They're starting to give up.

    You're looking for a way to truly understand their thinking.

    You realize that your instruction needs to be closely tied to what your students already know and don't know, but you don't know how to find that out. The assessment data you do have is lacking and doesn't delve deeply enough into their math thinking. 

    If you said YES to any of the above, you're in the right place!

    The truth is...

    You can't improve your students multiplication and division skills unless you've carefully assessed their knowledge. Students with learning disabilities or those who otherwise struggle with math have many different areas of need and also strengths to draw on. Those multiple-choice assessments or timed tests just aren't going to work. You need to try something DIFFERENT than what you've already been doing, something developed SPECIFICALLY for your special education students. 

    I've spent the last 12 years working with special education students and studying how they learn math.
    Here's how I can help you.

    Since I started teaching in 2007, I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't work when teaching math in the special education classroom. I made it my mission to improve the math skills of students with disabilities and help them develop a deep conceptual understanding of basic math facts, including multiplication and division.

    After I struggled to help my students master their multiplication and division facts and build conceptual understanding, I read the research, consulted with experts in the field, and tested my own teaching methods until I discovered the right way to assess my students' knowledge. 

    Over the years, I've shared everything I learned with teachers when I became an adjunct lecturer, professional development provider, and workshop leader. I eventually went back to Columbia University for my PhD in cognitive psychology to learn more about children's mathematical thinking from a brain-based perspective. 

    I created this course to help more teachers learn from my successes-and failures-teaching multiplication and division to my own students. Successful math instruction must be grounded in research-based assessment. 

    "How to assess multiplication and division for special education" professional development course gives you everything you need to successfully assess your students' multiplication and division knowledge. You'll also learn how to assess their math anxiety, motivation, and other factors that might be affecting their ability to learn math.

    So what's included in the course?


    You'll learn exactly how to assess your students' multiplication and division knowledge along with other important characteristics, such as their math anxiety, motivation to learn, and interests. This is actionable information that is designed for you to implement immediately so you know precisely where to target your instruction. 


    These 20 pages are chock-full of questions and prompts that will help you apply what you've just learned to your own classroom. The course workbook will help you reflect on your teaching practice and set goals for what you want to implement into your math instruction. 


    You will always have access to the most up-to-date information and teaching strategies for the math classroom, for free. Any time I update the course with even more resources or research-based instructional strategies for assessing multiplication and division, you'll have access to it all!


    What is assessment?

    Learn about how we use assessment in the math classroom to learn about both our students' knowledge of multiplication and division concepts and procedures and characteristics about the student, such as their motivation to learn. 

    When should we assess multiplication and division knowledge?

    Learn about the different kinds of assessments we use at the beginning of a unit, throughout the unit, and at the end of a unit of study. You'll set a goal by choosing one type of assessment you'd like to integrate into your teaching.

    Why should we assess multiplication and division knowledge?

    Learn about why assessment is important to track our students' math knowledge. We'll discuss how assessment helps us monitor student progress, make instructional decisions, evaluate student achievement, and evaluate our instructional and curricular programs. We'll also delve into how to use a strength-based approach.

    How can we plan instruction around students' interests and characteristics?

    Learn about how to measure students' interests and characteristics and then how to use that information to plan our math instruction. I'll show you a few different types of assessments you can use to gather this information, such as a student interest inventory. We'll also look at how to measure students' math beliefs and feelings.

    How can we use diagnostic and summative assessments of multiplication knowledge?

    Learn about different aspects of multiplication and division knowledge that we can measure using diagnostic and summative assessments along with various types of these assessments. We'll discuss how to use cognitive interviews, which go beyond what we can measure in a typical paper-and-pencil assessment.

    How can we use formative assessments of multiplication and division knowledge?

    Learn about how to use formative assessments of multiplication and division knowledge in your math teaching. We'll take a closer look at a few specific types of formative assessments. You'll get practice using error analysis to understand your students' math thinking and level of knowledge. 

    Want more? You got it!
    Here are some bonuses you'll get when you enroll:

    Enrolling in the course will not only give you access to all 6 lessons, but you'll also get these bonuses, for free:

    Student interest inventory

    Use this to learn more about your students' favorite hobbies, activities, sports, food, etc. In the course, you'll learn how to optimize information you gather from the student interest inventories to plan your multiplication and division instruction based on students' interests, which increases their motivation to learn math.

    Performance task rubric

    Rubrics are a great way to assess a range of student performance in a more detailed and informative way than a simple grade on a test or quiz. Use these performance tasks to let students know how they performed on a performance task and have students grade themselves, which gives them a sense of autonomy and ownership over their own learning.

    Math work rubric

    Similar to the performance task rubrics, these are great, dynamic tools for the special education classroom. They can be used throughout any math lesson to help students understand what kind of math thinking and math work is expected of them. You can use the math work rubric to assess students' classwork, homework, or small group work. 

    Observation checklist for an individual student

    The observation checklist is a tool to help you keep track of the data you gather as you observe a student complete a math task. Observation data gives you insight into a student's thinking and reasoning skills in a more nuanced way than a test. This easy-to-use checklist will help you track and organize this valuable information. 

    Observation checklist for the whole class

    Just as we gather observation data on individual students, it's also useful to get a quick snapshot of how the class is progressing in their understanding of multiplication and division knowledge. You'll use this whole-class observation checklist to record where each student falls on the progression towards fact mastery, which will help you set goals for students and group them for small group work.

    Who is this course for?

    • Teachers of students who are struggling with their basic multiplication and division facts. Whether you're a special education or general education teacher, this course can help strengthen your math instruction and give you the tools you need to assess your students' math knowledge.
    • Teachers who believe that ALL students can succeed at math, if given the right supports. If you think you have the power to change your student's lives, you're ready to learn proven strategies for assessing their knowledge and improving their multiplication and division skills. 
    • Teachers who want to deeply understand their students' math thinking. You can't successfully teach your students and help them master their math facts until you've mastered how to assess their learning in a comprehensive and robust way.