Topics: Assessments Implementation Support Student Achievement Eureka Math Squared

Achievement Descriptors and Student Understanding

Louisa Hodges

by Louisa Hodges

May 23, 2023
Achievement Descriptors and Student Understanding

every child is capable of greatness.

Posted in: Aha! Blog > Eureka Math Blog > Assessments Implementation Support Student Achievement Eureka Math Squared > Achievement Descriptors and Student Understanding

You’ve heard it before: Mastery builds over time. But what does that look like? Eureka Math2® Achievement Descriptors (ADs) detail how skills and content progress throughout grade levels. ADs support you in planning, seeing how content builds, and assessing students. 

Anticipate the focus of student learning by studying Achievement Descriptors.

Eureka Math2 Achievement Descriptors are descriptions of what students should be able to understand and do. The ADs for each module are included in the Module Overview section. They’re tagged to each lesson and assessment question, so you know the content goal of that component. You’ll notice that the ADs aren’t exactly the same as your state’s standards. That’s because some standards are broad and encompass multiple skills. ADs align with standards, but they are more specific. As students engage in the learning detailed by the ADs across a series of lessons, they’ll progress toward mastery of the associated standard.

Move to the next lesson even if students aren’t yet proficient according to an Achievement Descriptor.

Achievement Descriptors show how students gain proficiency over time as daily lessons layer the learning of new skills. This allows you to be confident, knowing that your pace of one lesson per day will promote student success. A great way to see how this works is to reference the Achievement Descriptors at a Glance charts. You’ll find these charts on the Great Minds® Digital Platform in the Resources section of the Module Overview.

A table labeled Level 3 Module 1 Achievement Descriptors and Content Standards at a Glance, with lessons arranged in columns, and Achievement Descriptors and Aligned C C S S M arranged in rows. Lessons are marked with dots that correspond to Achievement Descriptors addressed in that lesson.

Let’s look at grade 3 module 1 as an example. The chart above identifies which lessons include work aligned with each Achievement Descriptor for the module. Notice that most ADs appear over multiple lessons. With this wide-angle view, you can see how student proficiency develops over time as you move through the lessons. Understanding how learning develops over multiple lessons will help you maintain pacing while still monitoring student understanding.

Use Achievement Descriptors to help assess student understanding.

Eureka Math2 includes proficiency indicator charts which show what the journey to proficiency can look like for each Achievement Descriptor. Find these in the back of your Teach book or in the Resources section on the Great Minds Digital Platform. Notice how the AD includes indicators for what Partially Proficient, Proficient, and Highly Proficient work can be.

A chart titled 3.Mod1.AD6 Apply the distributive property to multiply a factor of 2 through 5 or 10 by another factor. The chart has the following 3 columns, each with an example: Partially Proficient, Proficient, and Highly Proficient. Partially Proficient: Is the expression equal to 6 times 5? Circle yes or no. Proficient: Break apart the 8 to find 8 times 4. Highly Proficient: Carla says she can find 16 times 5 by using the expression 10 times 5 plus 6 times 5. Is she correct? Explain.

The proficiency indicators help you analyze your students’ progress on the path to proficiency as you review classwork, Exit Tickets, and other assessments. You may even use the sample problems to briefly check student understanding after small group instruction or individual support.

Achievement Descriptors in Eureka Math2 indicate not only what students are learning, but also how their learning may develop over time. They are a great tool to use as a "look for" in both informal and formal assessment. ADs will help you plan, make instructional decisions, and monitor student progress toward mastery in your classroom.

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Topics: Assessments Implementation Support Student Achievement Eureka Math Squared