When do I start using SNAP with my students?

The SNAP is a balanced assessment used for, as and of learning.  It is recommended that you begin using the SNAP early in the school year.  Continue using SNAP throughout the entire school year and  keep number sense routines happening in your class all year long. Number Sense is the foundation for all other math strands and continued practice of short, low-prep Number Sense routines (can be accomplished through daily warm-ups) will reinforce and enhance every other math strand you need to teach.

Which standards should I use for the first few fall assessments?

Since the first SNAPs you will be giving your students in the fall are for your own (informal) formative data collection, it is helpful for students to work on the previous grade’s standards.  For example, you could give your Gr. 6s the Number Sense to 1 000 000 and Division SNAP to see what they have retained from last year.  It will provide you with some excellent evidence you can use to map out your students’ areas of need. Find our SNAP Class Record Sheet under the website's "Resources" heading.  You can use this  template to create some strategy/intervention/focus groups within your classroom, and even jot down some whole-class areas of need.  Once you address some of these areas through your daily instruction, you should re-assess your students throughout the year and change up your groupings.

For students who might really be struggling, don’t hesitate to give them SNAP practice from even lower grades.  All the practice you are doing throughout the year should be tailored to meet your students’ needs where “they are at”.  There’s no point in giving a Gr. 6 student who is working at a Gr. 3 level the Gr. 5 standards.  Practice at their level of understanding will move them forward more effectively (because they will be understanding the number sense concepts with numbers and operations that are accessible to them).

How should I introduce my class to SNAP?

We recommend using a document camera to demonstrate what a proficient SNAP would look like.  You might want to start with a “share the pen” activity, where you ask for volunteer students to come and help you fill in each part of the SNAP.  It is important to always start with an EASY number or operation for the first few SNAPs.  You want to build student success and confidence.  After you have demonstrated expectations for the templates with your class, you could have students try filling in a SNAP with a partner.  Allow students plenty of time for talk and always let them use personal strategies and classroom tools such as hundred charts, manipulatives and using fingers to count.

How often do I give my students the SNAP?

You can use the SNAP practice templates as often as you like.  Once you have given your students a few SNAPs, you should have some informal data that will help you guide your planning and responsive teaching.  For example, if you notice that many of your students are challenged by the number line or backwards skip counting, you will likely want to target these areas with specific classroom activities and routines.  We are currently collecting one formal assessment in ePAS at the end of the school year.

When do Chilliwack teachers need to enter data?

Chilliwack teachers will enter data by the end of November and by the end of May.  November data entry is based on the previous year’s outcomes, and is only to be completed by grades 3-7 teachers.  So for example, grade 4 teachers will assess their students at the beginning of the year based on the grade 3 target outcomes and using the grade 3 templates.  All grades 2-7 teachers will enter data by the end of May based on the current year’s outcomes. 

Are there specific considerations for students with special needs or behaviour concerns?

SNAP can be easily differentiated to suit individual needs.  Students on an IEP can comfortably work at their own level and  you will be able to indicate that they have an IEP.  For students who have adaptations in place but who do not have a formal IEP, you can note any pertinent information in the comments.  These students might not be proficient in all areas, however, your brief explanation should  indicate how their learning was accommodated.

Should I have my students correct their errors on their SNAPs?

We recommend meeting or conferring with your students to give them specific feedback on their errors so that they can fix them and learn from them.  Part of establishing a math mindset community in your classroom means teaching students to see their mistakes as a valuable part of the learning process.  Instead of marking students’ SNAPs with red Xs, try using a highlighter to highlight areas that were correct and teach your students to look for/correct the areas that are not highlighted. 

The "Reflect" box on both templates can be used as a space for your students to do an error analysis.  You might choose to have them reflect on their learning once you return their marked work to them, allowing them to find an "oops" they made, consider why it was wrong and write about how they can fix the error.  

What should I do with all the SNAPs that my students are writing?

You might wish to collect and store your students’ SNAPs in a file so that you can document their long-term growth.  Some teachers prefer to send SNAPs home, to communicate ongoing progress to parents.  Some teachers choose to create SNAP template booklets at the beginning of the school year, so that all the student work stays contained in one place.  You will need to determine what works best for your personal organization style.

If you want to use a class record sheet to record your students’ data, you can find a Number Sense and Operations Class Data Record Sheet in our printables.

Wow!  I love using SNAP but the photocopying sure adds up.  Are there any paperless  alternatives?

Yes!  Laminating class sets of enlarged templates or using laminated poster-sized SNAPs is working well for many schools in our district.  You can also use plastic sleeves for re-usable SNAP templates.  Another option is to create a SNAP whiteboard in your classroom.  Not only do students love to show their thinking on the board, but devoting a large space in your classroom to showcase math learning sends the message to anyone who walks in that numeracy is a priority for your students!  Check out our photos of different examples of SNAP whiteboards in classrooms across our district .