The BCAMT Assessment Series is a series of sessions designed to dive deeply into what assessment means. Each session focuses on a different aspect of assessment and is hosted by a knowledgeable person.

A little further down the page you will find information on each of the sessions, their hosts, some questions to consider and any additional resources they recommend.

Immediately below are links to videos of the sessions and slides and resources for all sessions (not all sessions were recorded). We encourage you to continue the discussion on the B.T.C. Tasks Discussion Padlet, where you can connect and share with your peers.

9. An Assessment Framework at Work

Monday, November 22, 2021 (3:30 pm)

Nicki Nightingale & Alecia Burdess

Have you been building a Thinking Classroom? Are you stuck on assessment? Join us as we discuss what we’ve learned in our junior high and senior high classrooms. We have built and implemented an assessment framework for a Thinking Classroom. Be ready to take a deep dive into outcome-based assessment, focusing on student autonomy and choice.

  • See link at top of page for slides (if available)

Since 2005, Alicia Burdess has taught in Grande Prairie where she is currently an Assistant Principal at an 8-12 High School. Her experience includes four years as a Math Coach, working with teachers and students in their classrooms. She has served as the President of MCATA and currently sits on the NCTM Publishing Committee. She wants every child to believe that they can learn math to the highest level and that their inner mathematician is waiting to be awakened! Alicia has recently published a children’s book: The Dragon Curve: A Magical Math Journey to help spread the joy and beauty of math. You can connect with her on Twitter @BurdessAlicia and visit her website at

Nicki Nightingale has been teaching since 2012 in a variety of grades and subjects, from elementary all the way up to high school. She had avoided teaching math due to her negative experiences as a student until 7 years ago when she took a junior high math position. This was the beginning of her new journey. She was inspired by a math coach who introduced her to everything “Thinking Classroom” which turned out to be the catalyst that changed her direction and ignited her passion for math education. Fast forward to now: Nicki has her Master’s in Education with a focus on Numeracy from Simon Fraser University and is currently the Numeracy Coordinator for her school district in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Her passion is to work with teachers and students to develop their own positive relationships with math so they can experience the joy and connection that comes from deep understanding and confidence in themselves as math learners.

8. No Surprise Assessment

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (3:30 pm)

Richard DeMerchant

In recent years the conversation about formative assessment has focused on its use to guide instruction. It is also important that formative assessment provide information directly to students so they can guide their own learning. Being explicit about what students know and do not know provides students with the opportunity to have agency over their learning. This sessions will present one method to use Google Sheets to communicate directly with students.

  • Do you provide a means for students to see where they are and where they are going?
  • Can my assessment provide information directly to students on areas they need to focus their attention?
  • Does my assessment instrument provide a means to communicate to students where they are and where they are going?
  • What are some of the challenges in communicating your assessment to several classes?
  • See link at top of page for slides (if available)

Richard has worked in a variety of positions in teaching, administration, professional development and publishing in Nunavut, British Columbia and Alberta. He currently teaches Middle School at St Michaels University School in Victoria and is on the executive of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers.

7. Using Observations and Conversations in Assessment in All Grades

Wednesday, June 2, 2021 (3:30–4:30 pm)

Ann Arden (Ottawa)

6. Assessment that Changes Student Behaviour

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 (3:30–4:30 pm)

Steffi van Dun (Kelowna) and Rhya Wandeler (Vernon)

Do you notice student behaviours that you would like to change? Are students off-task or not engaged in their activities? In this session, we will share how assessment was used to transform our classrooms. We will share how to build rubrics with your class, and how these can alter their interactions and engagement, provide students with more ownership of their learning, and how this has given us a tool to influence positive learning skills.

5. Tiered Practice Quizzes

April 2021

Elysia Dubland

Elysia has been recently using something she calls “Tiered Practice Quizzes” as formative assessment near the end of a unit. Students complete a standards-based review quiz in four phases and identify what they need to work on in regards to the learning outcomes. These quizzes provide evidence for assessing the Connecting and Reflecting curricular competencies and inform students in their test preparation.

  • Do your assessments encourage and support students in furthering their own learning or do they signal the end of learning?
  • See links at top of page for slides (if available)

Elysia Dubland has been a secondary mathematics teacher in Surrey for 10 years.  She is passionate about inspiring her students to enjoy mathematics, think hard, and persevere in problem solving.  Ever since completing her master’s degree with Dr. Peter Liljedahl she has been implementing the Thinking Classroom framework and hasn’t looked back!  Her master’s research on self-assessment and homework has led her to examine how traditional classroom tools and assessments can be re-imagined to provide students with richer learning opportunities and more meaningful feedback.

4. New Light Through an Old Window

March 2021

Marc Garneau / @314piman

As one looks to shift their assessment practice towards standards-based assessment, what does this look like for assessing mathematical content standards? This workshop explores the what, why, and how of assessing content on a proficiency scale. The questions may be largely the same (old window), but looking at them through a proficiency lens (new light) is an important and meaningful shift.

  • If two students get the same mark on a test or quiz, does this mean they each have the same understanding of the content?
  • How does an assessment inform a student what they understand and what they still need to learn?
  • When assessing content, how can a student show an Emerging level? What about Extending?
  • How can embedding competencies enhance your assessment of content?
  • See link at top of page for slides

Marc Garneau is a Numeracy Helping Teacher for the Surrey School District, in which capacity he supports the teaching, learning, and assessing of mathematics across grades K-12. Marc has served on the BCAMT Executive since 2001 in various roles including President, conference chair, and the NCTM/NCSM representative. Marc has also served on the K-12 BC Math Curriculum Committee, as well as nationally for the NCTM and NCSM. Marc has a passion for professional learning, and has done workshops provincially, nationally, and internationally. In recent years, Marc has focused much of his own learning, and workshops, around supporting the curricular competencies and on transforming assessment.

3. Rubrics and Exemplars

February 2021

Robert Sidley

Assessment of student work is a complex, multi-dimensional process of noticing, organizing that noticing, and learning to associate what we notice with benchmarks of performance. This presentation unpacks these aspects by bringing attention to what we notice in student work, suggesting characteristics of mathematical discourse as an organizing framework for looking student work, and offering examples and suggestions for rubrics to help categorize the range of student work we encounter.

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In Robert’s over 20 years in public education, he has dedicated himself to improving students’ experiences and teacher development. After transitioning from primary education to secondary mathematics, Robert completed a Masters in Secondary Mathematics Education at Simon Fraser University. As a past President of the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers, Robert has consulted with the BC Ministry of Education on curriculum design and development, provincial exams, and teacher in-service. As a private consultant and author, he has worked with over 20 school districts across Western Canada, supporting teachers towards delivering learning experiences which are hands-on and minds-on, using problem solving to build conceptual understanding, and meaning making in mathematics. Robert is currently aligned with Simon Fraser University in the Professional Development Program and as a Doctoral candidate engaged in teaching pre-service teachers and in research on teacher professional vision, assessment, improvement, and Building Thinking Classrooms.

2. Assessing Curricular Competencies

January 2021

Mike Pruner

In this workshop, I outline my beliefs around mathematics education, as beliefs motivate how one assesses in their classrooms. In order to bring curricular competencies into the fold of assessment, I think it is more practical to re-purpose existing assessments than it is to build a whole new assessment system. In this workshop, I will share how I used previous assessment tools to assess the curricular competencies and how progress within the curricular competencies shape my final evaluations.

  • What current assessment practices are you proud of in your classroom?
  • How might these assessments also motivate and capture student growth within one or more curricular competency?
  • How could curricular competencies be more front and center within your assessment plan?

Michael Pruner is a high school mathematics teacher in North Vancouver. He is a past president for the BCAMT and is currently studying in the PhD program at Simon Fraser University. He teaches using the Thinking Classroom framework developed by Dr. Peter Liljedahl that centers around vertical non-permanent surfaces, visibly randomized grouping, and teaching through rich tasks.

1. Standards Based Grading

December 2020

Phil Stringer / @xphils

This presentation covered the foundations of SBG including reasons to use it as an assessment practice and how it fits with best practices: measuring learning with respect to the expectations, providing feedback, and formalizing the learning achievement. Examples of SBG assessments and data collection were presented

  • What are the ten key learnings (standards) from your curriculum?
  • What does an 84% student in your class know that an 82% student does not?

Phil has taught in both public and independent schools in BC for the past 25 years and is currently the Department Head of Mathematics at Crofton House School in Vancouver and co-founder of the Assessment Consortium of British Columbia. For the past five years, Phil has been exploring the use of SBG in his mathematics classes and working with schools across the country to explore assessment practices.