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CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 36. . . .May 16, 2014
The Assessment of Numeracy in Education (ANIE) was developed by two school administrators in British Columbia for use in Grades 1 to 12 mathematics classrooms. The book is written to encourage teachers and school administrators to use the ANIE in their mathematics program. It includes seven chapters that describe the ANIE and the ANIE Junior, a version for use with primary students or students with special needs. The first three chapters outline the features of the tool and suggest ways to introduce the assessment to students. Chapter 4 explains how the assessment is graded while chapter 5 provides annotated examples of the tool. More specifically, responses from five Grade 4 students who completed the ANIE for “37 ÷ 4 = n” and responses from four Grade 2 students who completed the ANIE Junior for “12 – 5 = _____” are shown. In chapter 6, the authors provide a vignette describing the use of the assessment by a Grade 4 teacher. The final chapter contains two brief case studies suggesting the positive impact the ANIE may have on students’ mathematics achievement. Templates for the ANIE and ANIE Junior are provided along with a glossary and responses to “frequently asked questions”.
Before explaining my reasons for not recommending this book, I will describe the one-page templates that form the core of this assessment. The top of each template provides a space for classroom teachers to insert a mathematics question which must be expressed in standard notation (i.e. 37 ÷ 4 = n) rather than as a word problem. Students are required to complete a sequence of steps (estimate, calculate, represent, explain, apply to real life, and reflect) to solve the question and demonstrate their understanding. The same sequence of steps is followed on each ANIE or ANIE Junior, regardless of the math content area being assessed. As indicated in the excerpt, the assessment can be administered in as little as 10 minutes. The template includes small boxes where students record their responses to each step. Students are encouraged to complete the steps in order. For instance, they are expected to calculate their answer and then create a visual representation. These representations are an additional means of communicating the answer rather than a mathematical thinking tool that students might use to find an answer. The bottom of the template contains a four-category, four-level scoring rubric. As with the sequence of steps, the scoring rubric does not change for different mathematics content areas or grade levels. Thus, the ANIE and ANIE Junior are assessment templates intended for use across grade levels and math content areas.
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