Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP)

The Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) provides tools for formative and summative assessment to assess students’ mathematical knowledge and reasoning, helping teachers guide them towards improvement and monitor student progress. 

Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
Shell Center Team at the University of Nottingham, U.K.
Publication Year
Resource Type
Instructional Material
Product Type

The Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP) set out to design and develop well-engineered tools for formative and summative assessment that shine a light on students’ mathematical knowledge and reasoning, helping teachers guide them towards improvement and monitor student progress.  It aims to bring the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in mathematics to life in a way that will help teachers and their students turn their aspirations for achieving them into classroom realities. They exemplify CCSS in explicit down-to-earth performance terms. The project materials were produced as part of a collaborative effort between the University of California, Berkeley and the Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The MAP materials are of two complementary kinds:

  1. Summative tests or tasks, whichexemplify the performance targets that the standards imply. The tasks, with the associated guidance, equip teachers to effectively monitor overall progress and the mathematical understanding of their students.
  2. Classroom Challenges are complete lessons that support teachers in formative assessment. They both reveal and develop students’ understanding of key mathematical ideas and applications. These lessons enable teachers and students to monitor in more detail their progress towards the targets of the standards. 
Benefits and Uses

MAP provides instructors and administrators with excellent resources in implementing and evaluating the College and Career Readiness (CCR) standards in mathematics.  The resource is valuable and well organized and provides very good examples of real-life applications of mathematics. 

MAP provides teachers and professional developers with honest examples of how mathematics is used in real life.  Built around rich problems or tasks, the Classroom Challenges aim to provide a critical supplement to any curriculum. The lessons are structured as formative assessments and are ideally delivered in small classes or group work classroom settings. Opportunities for interaction with and feedback from the instructor are recommended. The lessons are extensive tasks that provide opportunity for students to demonstrate their thinking, to be involved in some degree of productive struggle, and to be able to show modifications in their solutions based on teacher feedback.

The support materials provided to instructors are critical in using the task appropriately with students and in providing feedback and evaluation of students’ work. Student work samples are provided to assist instructors in formulating language or instructional strategies that might assist struggling students. It is possible for instructors to either modify the task or select a subset of questions within a task.  With some careful preplanning, the lessons could be condensed and used in a class that has less time for working with larger problems of this type.  The Professional Development Modules, which help teachers with the pedagogical and mathematical challenges of the lessons, are particularly helpful.

The whole site is recommended; the Classroom Challenges are particularly helpful. The lessons have a strong alignment to CCSS and individual lessons are linked to specific content standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practice. The lessons incorporate well-designed formative assessments and provide a wealth of material for instructors. This includes the lesson plan with detailed teacher guidance and a presentation PowerPoint, which includes the task information for students. Though designed for specific grade levels, for the most part, the lessons can be presented to students of all ages. As the lessons are aligned to the CCSS, users can search for lessons aligned to CCR mathematical content standards and specific Standards for Mathematical Practice from the “Common Core State Standards” page

Optimizing Security Cameras an example of an exemplary lesson suitable for an adult education classroomThe lesson involves the placement of security cameras to provide maximum security for a given floor plan of a store. This real-life application problem integrates several content domains and requires strategic thinking and an ability to explain and interpret explanations. The lesson plan includes several student work samples that help teachers understand the goals of the lesson and how it develops the targeted standards. The extensive package of resources connected to this lesson is extremely helpful to teachers.

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