
What We Already Know About Students
As I approach the end of another calendar year, I find myself reflecting on the successes, challenges, and lessons that I can carry forward into the new year. One of the challenges in my work has been finding opportunities to deeply connect with the teachers that we serve. Teachers continue to be overworked and pulled […]

Making Sense of Math Is More Important Than Computation
At Math ANEX, it has been our philosophy that there is a lot more to mathematics than computation. We believe that understanding student thinking is the crucial next step in math assessment. However, it has been a long journey trying to figure out how to measure the connection between the ways students make sense of […]

Another Way We Look At Math Assessments Superficially
Remember back before everything autosaved all the time, how many times were you working on something, finally finished up it, and shut down your computer. Immediately after, you would realize that you didn’t save it and all your work was gone. If only we could’ve remembered before we shut everything down, instead of after. Does […]

What does “2 grades below grade level” really mean?
Educators are bombarded with messages like “Your student is two grades below grade level”. Does that mean that you have two years of material to catch up on while you are supposed to keep up with the current grade level material? And if you don’t, does that mean you will soon be three grades below […]

Making Sense of Sense Making in Mathematics
First off, I want to thank Annie Fetter for challenging me and a bunch of other people to dig deeper almost a year ago. In an attempt to do the same for you as Annie did for me, I’m going to ask you to solve a simple math question for me. After you solve it, […]

How I Think About Correct Answers In Math (Hint: It isn’t as simple as we like to think)
What does it mean when a student gets a correct answer in math? Are they all set, do they know the material? Does it matter how they got that answer? This post will quickly explore those questions with all the great information we gather at Math ANEX. The answer isn’t as simple as we’d hope, […]

An AssetBased Perspective on Student’s Written Linear Equations
At some point, student’s have to start writing equations. This is just a quick look into how we think about student’s written equations to figure out how they are thinking and what we can do to help. First, it may be useful for you to look at the differences between a multiple choice and nonmultiple […]

Multiple Choice vs. Free Response
When we give an assessment, it is our mission to understand the student who takes it as best we can. Multiple choice tests usually look to understand student performance, but we want to know how students think. We did an experiment where we had the same students take the same question 3 years in a […]

Helping Students To Understand Why X⁰ Equals 1, And The Theory Of Invisible Ones.
There is a lot in the topic of exponential variables, but today we are going to focus x⁰ and how students think about it. This last week, we gave 400 some students the following question. And I’m sure many of you could guess their answers. We’ve got the correct answer of 1 at 59%, 0 […]

How Students Think About Function Notation and How To Help Them Grow
In the last couple weeks, we were able to explore a little bit about how students think about function notation. We looked at 4 different questions to understand how they were thinking. Using a graph, can you solve f(x) given an x value, given the value of f(x)? How about using a table? And finally, […]