Anyway, the assessment continued with a few pretty standard questions sorting out some knowledge about adding and subtracting fractions - nothing ground breaking.
The last question is what I want to share. It asked students to complete some sentence starters.
Here are a few things they said.
Complete these sentences...
a) Fractions are....
a way of representing something that is not quite a whole
pieces of things that are divided up
a way of showing non-integers
a part/portion/piece of a whole
dividing between the denominator and the numerator
b) When you add two fractions, you have to....
add the numerators together if they have the same denominator
add the numerators together unless the denominator is different then you have to x it by something else to make it the same
I don't know exactly what to do but I suggest you draw a pizza
If they have a common denominator then you merely add up the top numbers but if they don't you can draw a picture or find a common denominator
c) You use fractions when you....
divide up things evenly or to represent something that is not whole
are cooking. e.g. pour 2/3 cup of cocoa powder in the cake mixture
cut up fruit
are trying to divide things into different parts
can't make a whole
cut a pizza, build a building, pour some milk
have a pizza and your friend says I want 3/4 you have to work out that you don't get much
There were lots of other responses - too numerous to mention here - but by being able to hear what they all said gave me a real insight into their thinking.
I am in a position now to identify who needs a bit more support, who has really got it and who is ready for the next challenge.
In so many ways, a successful assessment.