Resources mentioned in this episode:

Chris Luzniak’s Tweet

#DebateMath Podcast

Welcome fellow Recovering Traditionalists to Episode 139.  Do you think We Should Stop Giving Tests in Math?

I happened across a tweet this week by Chris Luzniak that asked: 

“Should we stop giving tests in math class?  What side of this debate are you on? @debatemathpod”

I thought I’d share with you a few of the statements in the comments that I found interesting…BUT I also want to encourage you to go check out the #DebateMath podcast.  

I found out that Chris and Rob Baier have recently started a podcast where they get people on to debate about math topics.  If you like listening to podcasts about teaching math you need to go subscribe to their podcast.  So far they have four debate episodes about things like ‘should kids memorize math’, ‘should kids be allowed to use notes on math tests’, ‘what’s the definition of a trapezoid’, and ‘is a hotdog a sandwich’….I’m intrigued by that one.

So I’m guessing this tweet that Chris put out is hinting at one of their future podcast episodes that will debate if we should stop giving tests in math.  I can’t wait to listen to that episode when it comes out, but until then let’s take a look at what a few people wrote in the comments and let me know in the comments over at what side of the debate you are on.  I’ll also link up Chris’ original post on Twitter so you can share your thoughts there if you are on Twitter.

Theresa said “Stop altogether or stop giving them to all students at the same time? As a videogamer, I love quests (tests) that I can try multiple times, realize when they are too far out of my reach, have the agency to skip when they are too easy, and continue at my own pace.”

Rob commented “​​If I had my way, I wouldn’t give my students grades at all. I would have conversations with them where I ask questions and assess their skills personally. Then I would use that information to help them grow. I hate grades. They are one of the worst parts of my job.”

Ruth said “Formative and Summative assessments are good, provided we make use of that data to make our lessons better and more student centric. Unfortunately, the final stage of the school system has examinations and children should be prepared for that.”

Lori posted “I had a student remind me recently that most students will learn material in order to pass a “test” and then forget it the next week. If that isn’t an argument for embedded formative assessment (with feedback) only, I don’t know what is.”

Those are just a few of the comments made in Chris’ post.  What’s your thoughts about testing in math…or just testing in general?

Let me know in the comments over at or go straight to Chris’ post (which will be linked on that page) to comment your thoughts.

I’m looking forward to a #DebateMath episode with their debate on this topic.

Until next week my Fellow Recovering Traditionalists, keep Building Math Minds.

This episode is brought to you by the Build Math Minds professional development site.  It’s an online site full of PD videos designed specifically for elementary teachers to help you build your math mind so you can build the math minds of your students.  If you are interested in getting in-depth Math PD at Your Fingertips, become a member of Build Math Minds.  Just go to and depending upon when you are listening to this, enrollment might be open or you can join the waitlist and get notified when it opens again.

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As you start off the school year, I want you to keep in mind what is really important as we're trying to teach mathematics to our students.