A3: Assess, Analyze, and Address

This website is a collection of formative assessment probes (now open to the public) developed by Wisconsin K-12 teachers participating in a Math Science Partnership (MSP) grant (2014 to 2017).

The formative assessment probes were designed to uncover student thinking for important mathematical concepts. Each probe consists of: a learning target (as defined below), a student handout (or interview questions), and criteria to code student responses. Coding goes beyond correctness to focus on recording a student’s progress towards understanding a mathematical idea.

To access the formative assessment probes for your own use, you may browse or search using the links below.

Additional Information

Definition: We required a learning target to have two parts: an important mathematical idea and student success criteria (both analytical and procedural).

Process used to create learning targets: Teachers identified mathematical ideas of interest by researching standards, progren documents, cognition-based assessments, and mathematics curriculum. Next, teachers developed success criteria (similar to learning objectives) that included at least one procedural and at least one analytic criterion. Both the mathematical idea and success criteria were written in student-accessible language so the learning targets could be used to develop student metacognition and focus instruction.

Recommendations for using probes: Teachers report success using probes for pre-assessment, post assessment, to identify possible topics for review, and to inform instructional decisions.

Supporting Links


A3 Home
Funded by ESEA Title II, Part B – Mathematics and Science Partnerships