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Hiding Assessment


Some of our first grade teachers are tracking their students on the Hiding Assessment. They set goals for where they would like to see students in a month's time... and then choose activities from the Developing Number Concepts books to help guide student development.

At the end of four weeks, it is almost routine that they won't meet their goal, and will then wonder what they've done wrong, or which activities they should be doing instead, etc. I'm wondering if they
are just asking too much of their students. This is where I thought it would be useful to know what numbers a "typical" first grader is able to "know" combinations for at the A level, the P level, etc.


from Kathy Richardson

The results of the Hiding Assessment are often a shock to all who give it. First Graders typically know parts to 6 by the end of the year. A few may know parts of 7. Once children are Ready to Apply for 6 or 7, they can usually get Ps for the rest of the numbers.

Some children may learn parts of 10 before they know 7, 8 and 9.

I tried to allow for showing stages of growth by including minuses and pluses in addition to A, P, I and N.

If teachers feel they are not seeing progress, they may want to take notes while they are giving the assessment.

They may be able to see smaller steps of growth than is shown by recording only the instructional level. For example, a child may only know 4 and 1 at first and when reassessed know 1 and 4. Or they may just be more confident when figuring out a missing part.

Below are descriptions of the instructional levels in case they can also be of help to you.

6. Hiding Assessment
Part One

(A) Ready to Apply
Knows all quickly, no errors
Students are ready to apply if the know all the parts of numbers to 10 with automaticity with counters.

(P) Needs Practice
Students need practice if they know some parts, count on, or use relationships for parts they don't know.

(P+) Knows all but 1 quickly, no errors, no counting all (may count on or back or use relationships for one combination)

(P) Figures out two or more, may have one error, may not count all

(P-) May have one error, counts all for up to half of the combinations

(I) Needs Instruction
Children need instruction if they often make errors, or if they must "count on" or "count all" most of the time. May have two errors, counts all for more than half of the combinations

(N) Needs Prerequisite
Three or more errors or guesses.


Follow-Up Question


One clarifying question: Our data reveals a great disparity between what the students can do with a model vs. what they can do without a model. Is that also typical? I am looking at one class, for example, in which a majority of the students are "A" with 5 and 6, using models. However, when assessed without models, only two students reached the "A" level. When you responded earlier to what a typical first grader knows, were you speaking with or without models?

Thanks again.


from Kathy Richardson

Children in first grade typically need models in order to think about the parts so they usually are lower on Part Two than Part One. This becomes less of an issue for most second graders.

First grade teachers need to help the kids move to this level by asking them "what if" questions once in a while.. What if you had 4 cookies and you gave me 2, how many would you have left?  They should do this with smaller numbers that the children know well with models. 

f this is still an issue with 2nd graders, direct teachers to the tasks where the kids are asked to "pretend". Developing Number Concepts Book 2: 3-6 through 3-12.



I administered a Hiding Assessment yesterday (using AMCAnywhere web-version) and have a question.... I wanted to assess starting at five and no matter what happened, I wanted to assess ten.  Typically, kids can do ten before 7, 8, and 9.  Also, in the new Framework, sums to ten will be an expectation.  I was unable to skip around within one assessment session and when I did ten by reassessing, the other data disappears from some reports.  I am pretty sure that there is only one report where I can retrieve the information.


from Kathy Richardson

The Assessing Math Concepts Assessments are intended to help teachers determine the instructional needs of their students. The Hiding Assessment is based on the idea that when a child knows the parts of numbers so well that they can immediately identify the missing parts, they essentially know the "basic facts" for that range of numbers. That means the assessment can be used to determine what addition and subtraction "facts" the students knows and what facts they still need to learn. In order for the assessment to really hone in on what students know, we designed the path through the assessment to identify all the numbers the child is Ready to Apply from the smallest number to the largest number. Children generally learn the smaller numbers before the larger numbers. The exception to this is the number 10. Students do often learn parts of 10 before they learn parts of 8 and 9. However, 10 is just a small part of the whole picture, so we did not set up the assessment to assess only that number out of the context of what else the child knows or doesn't know. A child who knows the parts of 10 without knowing parts for 7, 8, or 9 is at a much different level than one who knows parts of 10 and all the parts for the smaller numbers. This seems to be the important information that would not show up if you skipped those numbers to assess 10.

If you are required to assess whether your students know parts of 10 specifically, you could assess everyone on 10 and end the assessment after getting that information. The class summary report always shows the last assessment given so if you go on to assess other numbers without including 10, it would not show up on that report. You could however, save that report as a PDF before reassessing your class on other numbers. You can also retrieve that information on the Student Progress Reports.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.



I wanted to assess a student on specific numbers: 4, 5, and 10 on Part 1.  So I begin with 4 and then go to 5.  In order to do 10, I have to end the assessment and then enter again as a new assessment.  I am thinking that the first session isn't being recorded.

Yesterday, I assessed a number of students and the information is not being recorded.  I am wondering if it is because of going out of one session and starting another.


from Kathy Richardson

There is an explanation for why you are not seeing the session where you assessed children on 4 and 5. The class summary always shows the latest assessment which, in this case, is the assessment on the number 10. You would have to go to the child's progress report to see both sessions. The only thing I can suggest if you really need to assess every child on the number 10, no matter how they do on numbers from 6 through 9, is that you assess all the children on 10 first. You could then make PDF copies of the class summaries that show these results. Then you could assess 4 and 5, and because it would be the latest assessment, those results would show up on the class report.

I think it would be useful for you to know why the Hiding Assessment works the way it does. I designed the assessment so teachers could find out what number combinations a child knows without counting and what number combinations the child still needs to work on. It is not really intended to find out whether a child knows or does not know any particular number. This is because it is possible for one student to know 4 and 5 quickly and easily, but not to be able to do 6 at all, and for another child to know not only 4 and 5, but also 6, 7, and 8.  These children are at very different places and need very different instruction.

If you want to set a benchmark for knowing 4 and 5, you can do that and find out which children meet the benchmark and which children do not.  

Le t me know if you have any further questions about the Hiding Assessment or any others. 


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