Category Archives: 2012 Reading

#75facts Book Chat Begins Monday 9/24


Mathematics Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning

Mathematics Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learnin

Page D. Keeley (Author), Cheryl Rose Tobey (Author)

They refer to the strategies in the book as FACTS – Formative Assessment Classroom Techniques thus the hashtag #75facts.

If this will be your first online book chat – its simple – read assigned material, log on at designated time and share!  I’ve heard from several of you that you’ve gotten your books in hand – so let’s get started next Monday – September 24.  Meet up on Twitter at 8:30 cst and use the hashtag #75facts in your posts.

I know this will be a great opportunity to share and learn from others!  Several of the FACTS may be strategies you currently use – so there will always be opportunity to share what this looks like in your classroom.  The FACTS may also trigger a new idea on how to modify and improve techniques.

There are 75 FACTS which means this chat has the potential to continue the entire school year – so, if you are new – please join in!  We want you to be a part of this!


This book is a bit different than ones we’ve used in the past, so you are encouraged to get started and read ahead – getting ready for implementation – however, we’ll begin our chats by discussing 1 chapter each week.

Chatper 1 Introduction – defines FACTS, shares research, making a shift to a foramtive assessment centered classroom.

Chapter 2 – Integrating FACTS with Instruction and Learning

Chapter 3 – Considerations for Selecting, Implementing and Using Data from FACTS

My initial thoughts are to focus on 3 FACTS each week – you can choose 1 of those 3 to implement (or any prior FACT), reflect and share during our discussions.  We can see how this goes and always modify as we see fit.

Chapter 4 – Getting the FACTS is where the 75 FACTS are presented.  Each FACT covers 2-3 pages, so the reading is not the time factor here – implementation is where your time will be focused.  Don’t let this overwhelm you – if you don’t get one implemented, this by no means implies you should skip the chat!

Each FACT follows the layout:

  • Description
  • How it promotes student learning
  • How it informs instruction
  • Design and administration
  • Implementation Attributes
  • Modifications
  • Caveats
  • Uses with other Disciplines
  • Examples, Illustrations
  • Notes/Reflections

If you have not already, please enter your name in the form so we can ensure we keep you posted!

I will get a form in place for you to share any blog posts about #75facts soon!

Wait Time & Wait Time II


Stronger questioning techniques has always been an area of needed growth – I have improved through the years – but in order to be my best – it requires me to be very intentional.  I understood the idea behind wait time – but when I read A Student’s Perspective of Classroom Culture – how no wait time and allowing callouts from a handful of students is frustrating for the student who wants to be engaged and learn.  It reminded me of times I had the same experiences – when I was trying to think, wanted to answer, but someone else was calling out the answer before I could even get my thoughts together – and the teacher moved on…

This past week at my KLN (Kentucky Leadership Network) meeting – we were given a modified pair-share as we participated in our book study of Mathematics Formative Assessments – 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction and Learning (Keely, Tobey 2011).  I was in a group assigned to #72 Wait Time Variations found on page 212.  Ok, I thought, I know I need to pause 3-5 seconds following a question before calling on a student…as I began to read my assigned reading.

The first line referred to Wait Time as “The Miracle Pause,” (Walsh & Sattes, 2005).  Rowe found in her research:

“teachers tend to leave no more than one second of silence before addressing an unanswered question or asking someone to answer it. When teachers increase their Wait Time to at least 3 seconds, class participation increases, answers are more detailed, complex thinking increases and science achievement scores increase significantly.  Wait Time II involves the interval between when a student answers a question and the teacher responds.”

Wait Time II grabbed my attention…something, I’m not sure I’ve ever done consciously.  As I read more – the authors encouraged  to use a 3-5 second pause AFTER the student answers and before you respond to their answer – this allows both the student and the class to think about the response…  GREAT. IDEA.  Makes so much sense – seems so simple – so why haven’t I thought about it before? I know I’ve repeated a student response and paused – but I believe this will have a positive affect in my classroom.

This Formative Assessment Classroom Technique (FACT) “informs instruction because it encourages longer, richer answers, the teacher gains a better sense of what the students know and the reasoning they use to formulate their ideas.  Practicing Wait Time increases the sample from which teachers can gain information about the progress of learning in the class.”

On page 214, the following effects on teacher practice have been attributed to Wait Time:

  • teacher responses are more thoughtful, tend to keep the discussion focused and ongoing.
  • the quality of teacher feedback improves
  • teachers ask fewer questions – the questions asked require increase in cognitive demand
  • more is expected from previously nonparticipating students

In many cases, students are used to rapid-fire questioning (the one who answers fastest, must be the smartest).  Its important when beginning your growth focused on wait time – to explain to students “WHY” wait time is used and the reason for your long pauses.  When they understand the why, the long pauses will not be uncomfortable or as one of my students phrased “awkward.”  There is a suggested Wait Time Poster found on page 215 – definitely worth a look.  It, like many classroom routines, will need to be practiced before it becomes the norm.  Don’t give up…

Each FACT is organized with

  • Description
  • How the FACT supports student learning
  • How the FACT informs instruction
  • Design & Administration
  • General Implementation Attributes
  • Modifications
  • Caveats
  • Use with Other Disciplines

Whether I find new strategies in this book or names for simple things I’ve done for years – I feel it will be a valuable resource for improving my classroom strategies – providing new ideas or great reminders of “Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction and Learning.”

My 2012 Reading List


I’ve only begun to read again in the past 3 years – and only choosing to read professionally this past year – largely due to twitter / blogs which linked to articles/books. Three years ago, I was at a Women of JOY conference and had the opportunity to hear Karen Kingsbury speak – down to earth, an humble spirit – a REAL person – an intriguing life story.  I began reading her books and my desire to read was reignited!

When I was younger, I love reading – anything I could get my hands on about historical figures and the fact that my parents took us to historical places for vacation added to this desire.  Around 6th-7th grade, I’m not sure what happened – but I just quit reading unless it was for an assignment, and then I trudged through it.  Maybe I need to revisit Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Old Man and the Sea – I was not a fan during high school.  Later in college, I began reading John Grisham and Stephen King, but again, very limited.  Shortly after my first year of teaching I read a couple of books by LouAnne Johnson – My Posse’ Don’t Do Homework and The Girls in the Back of the Class.  Again, I only read if required for Master’s classes – not for pleasure.

I saw a tweet by @samjshah last week about his challenge to complete 52 books last year – and thought “How cool is that?!?”

So I posed a request to friends / colleagues.  I set my goal at 25 books – but the list grew and grew and grew and here’s my 2012 Reading List I’ve compiled.  Even as I type – I just received a text for The One Minute Manager.

One book that was recommended by not included on my list, but I would love to recommend, was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – I read it last February – my first read on my Kindle, which my dear husband gave me for my birthday!

Feel free to add to my list – I feel that a love for reading is a love for learning…

You’ll find the list very diverse – my life is blessed with many, many wonderful people – and several of these are recommendations from them!  I hope you’ll find something on my list to inspire you to take some time and read for yourself!



A friend also recommend to keep track of my books.