Deeper Understanding of Mathematics


As we enter our second year of implementing the Help Me Talk About Math assessment in Saskatchewan, the number of schools delivering the Grade 1 math assessment has grown to over 100 schools.

As I was training the school division leads the other week on the importance of this work and the nuances of the assessment, I was reminded (again) how this assessment capture to assess something truly unique from your typical math assessment.  As we were developing the assessment with educators in Saskatchewan, the immediate realization was that we do not need another math assessment the measures the proficiency of students in regards to the curricular outcomes.  We realized we do not need more assessments that measure how well students can skip count by two’s or identify repeating patterns.

No.  We realized that we need to assess a child’s deeper understanding of mathematics by assessing a child’s proficiency in the 7 processes inherent in the teaching, learning, and doing of mathematics.  These 7 math processes are identified  in the Saskatchewan curriculum and focus on:

  • communicating
  • making connections
  • mental mathematics and estimating
  • problem solving
  • reasoning
  • visualizing
  • using technology
HMTAM - circular rubric


Help Me Talk About Math assesses a student’s proficiency in these mathematical processes and provide an overall picture of their deeper understanding of mathematics.  The following video showcases the educators that have helped developed this holistic assessment as they describe the unique approach to this early years math assessment.

Deeper Understanding of Mathematics – VIDEO

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