This part of the site is for MARS members with access to several groups—to ensure you get the correct information and display format for your group please check your registration email for the full URL which will take you to the correct wlecome and login pages for your group. Or go to the top-level login page and log in with the correct group name.
Please Log In
- If you have a username and password, click here to log in
- Otherwise, talk to your district superintendents or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- We hope to have a "free sample" of the database available soon.
About the task collection
This collection offers teachers and their students about 20 rich assessment tasks at each Grade 3 through 8, linked to your state standards.
For each task there are four downloadable pdf files providing:
- task prompt
- scoring rubric, based on the core elements of performance that the task assesses
- unscored student papers from five students across the performance range
- scored copies of the same students’ work
Who is it for?
These tasks are for teachers who want to assess their students on real mathematics while staying close to the state standards. Students soon learn that these tasks require them to think mathematically and not just try to remember procedures. This helps students build the more robust conceptual understanding that improves their performance
Who can use it?
The full task database is available to participating institutions only - this is normally negotiated at school district level.
If your district is licensed, your school district/authority should have supplied you with a group name, a user name and password. Teachers in licensed districts may print and copy these materials for use within their school only.
How can you use these tasks?
Each task is designed to take the students from 5 to 15 minutes; with discussion each will support one class period.
There are various useful ways to use the tasks:
- Give two or three tasks that involve recent (but not too recent!) topics. Score them and provide feedback to each student on strengths and weaknesses.
- Give a task at the beginning of the lesson. Distribute (or display) the scoring rubric and ask the students, in pairs, to score each other’s work, talking through the points of difficulty. You circulate and observe, occasionally asking a question about the task or its connection to other mathematics.
- Give a task at the beginning of the lesson. Ask the students to discuss what they think the task assesses – first in pairs, then fours; collect some of the views. Distribute (or display) the scoring rubric and see how far it matches the discussion. Then discuss strengths and weaknesses, and how one could do better
- Give a task at the beginning of the lesson. Distribute (or display) the scoring rubric and one of the unscored papers provided. Ask the students, in pairs, to score this paper, to discuss what the student did not understand, and how they could be helped.
The principle behind these suggestions is research showing that moving students into ‘teacher roles’, such as:
- commenting on student work
- devising tasks
raises the student’s level of thinking and learning
What is MARS?
MARS – Mathematics Assessment Resource Service – is a collaboration between teams at Michigan State University, University of California, Berkeley and the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education at Nottingham. It works with school systems across the US that seek higher standards in Mathematics, providing tools for assessment and associated professional development.