Video Cases of MARS Formative
Assessment Lessons (FALs)
Video Cases of MARS Formative
Assessment Lessons (FALs)

What are MARS FALS?

FALs (also called Classroom Challenges) are free, formative-assessment lessons (FALs) available online from the math assessment resource service (MARS). There are 100 lessons in all, covering topics in grades 6-12. the entire collection of lessons can be found here, which can be searched by standard here.

FALs are lessons designed to help teachers assess what their students have learned about important math concepts and problem-solving skills. FALs are intended to be used alongside existing curriculum as a diagnostic. FALs that focus on math concepts, for example, should be used about 2/3 of the way through a unit covering that concept. A complete guide for teachers and administrators can be found here.

How to use the video cases

The video cases in this collection are a window into classrooms in which teachers have volunteered to try FALs, often for the first time. The video clips show interesting and challenging situations that arise when students and teachers engage in the mathematics of the lesson.

The video cases can be used individually, in professional learning communities, and in teacher-education programs. They are a tool used by teachers and teacher-educators in a growing community of practice that spans disciplinary and geographic boundaries, whose joint-enterprise is learning how to teach FALs effectively. We have listed them by the topic being chosen, but they are also tagged by grade level, dimension of the TRU framework, and portion of the lesson being taught.

Resources for teacher leaders and preservice educators will be posted here as they are created and refined. Stay tuned!

What each video case includes

  • A link to the full lesson plan at the Math Assessment Resource Service web page.
  • A mathematical context bundle, containing the task, lesson goals, and questions that can be used when investigating the math with others
  • A video supplement containing norms for watching video, the context of the classroom, discussions questions aligned with a selected dimension of the TRU Framework and a transcript

MARS Formative Assessment Lessons

Modeling Motion: Rolling Cups
Transforming 2D Figures
Representing Polynomials Graphically
Describing and Defining Quadrilaterals

Collection background

These materials have been created by a research-practice partnership that includes MƒA, the New York State Master Teacher Program, Montclair State University, and the State University of New York, Buffalo State. Details of this research project, called Analyzing Instruction in Math and Science Using TRU (AIMS-TRU), can be found here.