10 Creative Ways To Assess Math Understanding

creative ways to assess math understanding

Online math assessment is a crucial part of effective math teaching. Assessments are not just a tool for giving students grades based on how many problems they have solved correctly. An online assessment evaluates where the students lack knowledge and how to improve it. Math teachers keep thinking about creatively assessing students’ understanding of a particular problem to get a broader picture of their conceptual understanding. Online math assessment is a powerful way to make concepts clear to the students and shall be applied regularly in a math classroom by sharing various quizzes, worksheets, or practice problems.

Moreover, the best way to assess students’ understanding is through informal means and fun activities when they are under no pressure. Also, when students remain relaxed, they can better express their understanding. Read below the ten creative ways to assess math understanding.

10 Creative Ways To Assess Math Understanding:

1. Use Familiar Tech Tools

tech tools for math class

100+ Free Math Worksheets, Practice Tests & Quizzes

Teachers can ask students to explain a math concept or break down a problem in their way. Math teachers shall encourage them to explain how they derived their solution instead of simply asking or giving students a series of tests/questions to assess their understanding of the topic.

Online math assessments let the students record their work in various ways, such as through google docs or on paper. This technique will allow them to express their method better, and teachers can effectively assess the math understanding of their students.

For instance, middle school math assessments can include asking the students to create videos on advanced linear algebra topics for teaching their classmates. Then, check how effectively students explain algebraic concepts individually during an online class. Also, teachers can ask them to solve a few problems associated with a student’s video lesson.

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2. Try Online Math Magazines Or Reflective Journaling

Writing is a practical learning technique because it engages both brain hemispheres. Effective writing also clarifies and organizes a student’s thoughts. 

Therefore, teachers can ask students to do reflective journaling about math concepts or a math magazine focusing on how math concepts are applied in the real world. It is one of the most popular creative ways to assess the math understanding of learners when they get amazed to discover some of the diverse applications of math. 

Math teachers can share the free or self-prepared online math journaling cue to get students started on a particular topic. This can be done before sharing the middle school math assessment problems. Afterward, students can choose and summarize them for an online magazine.

This creative way of online math assessment provides an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of mathematical concepts. It also simultaneously develops an understanding of the usefulness and effectiveness of mathematics in the real world.

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3. Assign Projects With Real Impact

kids doing math project

Using online math projects and unit tests to assess students’ math understanding gives teachers a unique insight into how students think. After a certain point, assessment is not limited to questioning students or evaluating the execution of calculations. Therefore, assigning projects can allow teachers to assess students’ ability to apply those calculations in context with particular mathematical concepts.

For instance, by sharing a population survey online, a middle school math teacher can select categorical groups, such as gender and race, and quantitative variables, such as income and age. Then they can ask students to compare the people in the same groups and write a report on statistical analysis using google docs.

Thus, math projects are practical and the most creative way to assess students’ math understanding.


4. Actively Embrace Mistakes

As students can be nervous during an online live class. Thus creating an online fun and mistake-friendly classroom is valuable for all students in math class. Teachers must use this idea in online math assessments. Normalizing errors and letting students struggle with problems motivate students to identify the mistakes and figure out how to solve them. 

In addition, teachers should give students opportunities for redos, giving students time to work on problems they struggled with before the assessments. It is the most creative way to assess the math understanding of students.

5. Read A Minimal Math Story

Mini stories are the best method to teach math concepts and structures online. Also, teachers can ask students to read the story on the student’s screen at the end of the lesson, and it will reinforce what they have learned in class. It is another method that teachers can use while assessing students’ understanding.

Additionally, teachers can provide students with a math story with questions and ask them to solve it according to their understanding. In this way, teachers know how far their students have come and how much they understand.  

6. Host A Math Festival

Math Festival

It can be a great learning and evaluating advantage to create memorable moments if math week is introduced in the middle school math assessment method. Teachers can quickly assess how much their students have learned in this special math week or festival. 

A math festival can highlight history’s greatest mathematicians and how their work impacts our lives today. In addition, it can be an opportunity to show what you have contributed as a math teacher.

Throughout the week, a series of creative math online activities will occur. It makes for all the opportunities for fun math activities that might not fit into your regular class schedule. 

7. Interactive Document Writing

Teachers can encourage students’ critical thinking and assess their math understanding with interactive document writing. 

For example, teachers can divide a short essay book into two pages of the google doc and ask students to complete all the tasks on the alternate page. Leave space on the next page for students to demonstrate understanding of the new concepts or learning.


8. Connect And Talk About It

Connect And Talk About It

Teachers can ask students to discuss the online math lesson or concept with their classmates during the online class. Meanwhile, the math teacher can listen to their conversation to assess if the students clearly understand the critical points of the day’s lesson. Teachers should also discuss if students need support and talk to them individually/personally whenever required. This way, all the students in the online class get acknowledged, and the teacher can assess math understanding and know how much mathematics students have learned so far.

9. Sharing Fun Puzzles

Fun Puzzles

At the end of every lesson, please encourage students to solve a puzzle shared by you and assess how they solved it. It is a great way to review all the learning simultaneously, allowing students to solve the puzzle online. When students finish solving it, review their method and correct any inaccuracies or misunderstandings.

This way, teachers can also see which students are struggling and which do not need additional help. 

10. Question and answer quiz

Keep all online quizzes simple and comprehensive at most, with one or two questions related to the critical points of the lesson. Take this a step further by gathering students into small groups and having them discuss their answers, or at the end of the online class throwing by raising their hands and letting the results guide the direction of the next lesson.

Also read- 50 Fun Math Brain Teasers for Kids With Answers


These are ten creative ways to assess math understanding that are helpful for every math teacher to assess students’ math understanding effectively. These ways may apply knowledge to assess online, modify course materials, and convey subject matter honestly and understandably. But most importantly, listen and see how your students react to your teaching and adjust your teaching accordingly for effective math teaching and assessing students’ understanding. 

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