Evaluating the Effectiveness of Math Objectives

iep-math-objective-improve

The math objectives present in the photos on this post were written for former students of mine. These types of objectives are ineffective and ubiquitous. When I have sat in IEP meetings the majority of the time I am the only person who is capable of evaluating IEP math objectives. This post provides some guidance for others to evaluate these objectives.

In the photo above the objective has 3 major flaws.

  • “Using tools” is ambiguous. A 4 year old can use a calculator even if he does not know what he is doing.
  • “Problem solving skills” is a broad term that needs to be defined.
  • “Improve” can mean a student increases a success rate from 0% to 1%. That speaks for itself.

iep-math-objective-create-visual-aids

In the objective above there are 2 major problems.

  • “Multi-step word problems” is very broad. If a student shows she can solve a problem that requires addition and then subtraction but no multiplication or division is this mastery?
  • Often the accommodations are built into the objective and therefore the assessment. I have repeatedly had educators tell me this is what the student needs. That is valid if there is no intention for the student to do the work independently but often that point is overlooked.

iep-math-objective-demonstrate-understanding

The objective above is similar to the previous example. The examples in the objective include “solving” and “graphing.” Is the student supposed to demonstrate mastery in all the different types of algebra concepts? Or, if he can solve equations is the objective mastered?

How can caregivers evaluate these objectives? 

The language of an effective objective can be used, almost verbatim, as  problem. For example

  • Objective: Billy will add fractions with like denominators.
  • Problem: Add the following fractions (with like denominators).

Have the person writing the objectives provide an example problem that can be used to assess mastery of the objective. If the problem includes additional information or language beyond what is written in the objective then the objective is ineffective. For example:

  • In objective 1 above (the first one) the objective is to use tools to improve problem solving skills.
  • Below is a possible problem (from LearnZillion.com) that could be used. I would ask the author of the objective to explain what problem solving skills should be demonstrated and to explain what constitutes improvement. Neither of these terms is explicitly stated in this problem. It is very likely that valid responses to these questions is not possible and hence the objective needs to be revised.
story-problem-2-step

Solve the word problem above using a calculator.

Advertisements
Tagged , , ,

One thought on “Evaluating the Effectiveness of Math Objectives

  1. I come here searching for Evaluating the Effectiveness of Math Objectives .
    Now, Mathematics comes from many different sorts of problems.
    Initially these were within commerce, land way of measuring, structures and later astronomy; today, all sciences
    suggest problems analyzed by mathematicians, and many
    problems happen within mathematics itself. For instance, the physicist
    Richard Feynman created the path important formulation of quantum technicians utilizing a combo of mathematical reasoning and
    physical information, and today’s string theory, a still-developing medical theory which tries to unify the four important forces of dynamics, continues
    to encourage new mathematics.
    Many mathematical items, such as models of quantities and functions, display internal structure because of procedures or relationships that are identified on the place.
    Mathematics then studies properties of these sets that may
    be expressed in conditions of that framework; for instance quantity theory studies
    properties of the group of integers that may be expressed in conditions of arithmetic businesses.

    Furthermore, it frequently happens that different such set up sets (or buildings) show similar properties, rendering it
    possible, by an additional step of abstraction, to convey
    axioms for a category of set ups, and then analyze at once the complete class of
    buildings gratifying these axioms.
    Thus you can study teams, rings, domains and other abstract
    systems; alongside one another such studies (for buildings identified by algebraic procedures) constitute the area of abstract algebra.

    Here: http://math-problem-solver.com To be able to clarify the foundations of mathematics, the areas of mathematical logic and place theory were developed.
    Mathematical logic includes the mathematical review of logic and the
    applications of formal logic to the areas of mathematics; arranged theory is the branch
    of mathematics that studies models or selections of things.
    Category theory, which discounts within an abstract way with mathematical set ups and romantic
    relationships between them, continues to be
    in development.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: