Algebra 1 Mid-unit Test • Jennifer Silverman


Our next “in-the-spotlight” assessment comes from Jennifer Silverman’s Algebra 1 class. It’s a mid-unit test on linear functions. As you read through the assessment and consider adding your comments to the discussion, keep these questions in mind:

  • What do you like (and why)?
  • What would you do differently (and why)?
  • What questions do you have for Jennifer?

Submission Type

“Share an assessment you don’t hate…”


Author’s Commentary

“I liked this assessment for its multiple representations and open-ended questions. I feel it gave me a good picture of what my students understood. The red barn was painted by my dad, who passed in 2011.”

On Deck

TBA later this week.

Call for Submissions

With only one assessment in the queue, I would love to receive your submissions this week. For details on submitting assessments, check out this post. I’ll have an easier submission process in place later this summer, but this should do for now. If you’re frustrated with the current submission process, feel free to send your submissions via email (mjfenton at gmail dot com).


4 thoughts on “Algebra 1 Mid-unit Test • Jennifer Silverman

  1. Jennifer

    Some quick observations before I put my son to sleep. I’ll tackle these in order

    #1 I LOVE the in context requests here. However, along the lines of being less helpful, I think I’d eliminate the delta x and delta y columns in the table.

    #3 I might change the phrase ‘there is a linear relationship…’ into ‘if there is a linear relationship, then…”

    #5 I really like C and D here. This really puts some burden on them to think about context of the data here.

    #6 This is just a lovely problem here. I had something similar – but not as detailed – on a Calculus test where the students had to switch between integral notation, descriptions of areas and sigma expressions for Riemann Sums. I thought I was being quite clever, but this layout and organization of the information, as well as the fact that you are asking this of Algebra I students, puts me to shame on that front.

    Thanks for sharing! Are you okay with me sharing this with my Algebra I colleagues?

  2. I am going to comment as I read through the test… my thoughts…

    1) Love the first problem. Especially the context question. So so so important. Skimming through the rest of the test, all the problems have x- and y-. I haven’t ever taught Algebra I, so it might be that the kids just need concreteness and something they’re familiar with at the beginning. But if not, maybe consider having S and t be the variables. One thing in my school I’ve noticed is that kids don’t get comfortable saying “t-intercept” or “S-intercept” because they are so wedded to axes being “x” and “y.”

    2) I like question 2. One way to take it even further (maybe more in a class, and not on a test) is to say “the distance between the tick marks is 5 feet”… And then give them the same picture and say “the distance between the tick marks is 10 feet”… And then ask what they can conclude from these two pictures/scales about slope.

    3) Love question 3. I like that you are talking about rates of change, where time isn’t one of the variables.

    4) Love.

    5) Love.

    6) Multiple representations FTW. Amazeballs.

    7) Love.

    Okay so I’m pretty much in awe of this. Please write all my tests for me so I can use them next year.

  3. Thanks for your feedback, guys! Yes, feel to share.

    I wrote that for a co-taught regular/special ed class at a public high school, so it is scaffolded quite a bit. Now I write for a digital academy that acts like a magnet program in 12 towns. I continue to scaffold, but encourage teachers to remove as much as their kids can handle. (It’s easier to take away than add!) Sam, I love the idea of changing scale and comparing slopes – I must note that! (What is FTW?) mrdardy, I also did a Calc question like that – good stuff!

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