4 Steps to Create Math Performance Tasks with a Quick and Easy Template

Finding math performance tasks for your classroom can be difficult. 

And even when a performance task is found it does not match up with your needs.

One solution is to create your own. This template will save you time and effort.

Step 1: Get an Idea 

This may be the most difficult part of the task or the most fun. Depends on how you look at the situation. 

These questions will help you find your idea if you are stuck.

  • What do you want students to be able to do? 
  • What interests your students? 
  • What skill do you need to see accomplished?
  • Do your students find some types of tasks to be more meaningful?
For example, I noticed today that my students found the domino example for π day intriguing. In the middle of eating pie, they stopped to watch the video. My students were asking some very detailed questions about the dominoes; how many are there, how long did it take to set that up, how long did it take to fall down? 

If you are still stuck feel free to take a look at my list of sample assessments or view the performance task I created for F.BF.1 or Correlation vs. Causation

Step 2: Clarify the Performance Task

Within the template you will find prompts ensuring your task is complete. 

Choose a product for your students. Then move on to defining the purpose of the product. Define the audience for your students and create clear expectations.

Take a minute and check off the Mathematical Practices your task will include. 

Remember to think through the goals for your students. What do you want them to know?

Step 3: Prepare for Success

Prerequisite Skills

Being realistic about what your students know and need to know is essential. Listing out the skills needed and ensuring that they have been covered prior to the assessment is essential.

Too often, when teachers have not honestly taken a look at what is needed to complete the task, all of their hard work ends up down the sink. 

Do they need research skills, don’t assume they can “Google it”. Do they need to recall a skill from earlier grades, don’t assume they will recall it. 

Taking an honest look ahead of time and ensuring the items have been taught or remediated will give you and your students the best chance for success.

Quality Questions

Think through your task. 

What questions will you ask students to assess their knowledge of the content?

What questions can you ask struggling students to help them find their way?

Having these questions ready ahead of time will ensure you get the information you need and move students along. 

Step 4: Assess your Task

Within the template there is a self-check list. Use it to assess your task. Reading through it may give you ideas on how you might extend a lesson or how it can be changed to make it even better. 

Remember, teaching is never done, it can always be better. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you never finish.

For a list of tools for inserting math symbols into your tasks, reference this blog post

Please check out the free template. 

I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know if there is something I missed. I would love to get your input!