Assessment in a CPM classroom is happening continuously. The teacher assesses student understanding as they circulate the classroom while teams are working. The intune teacher can learn a great deal by listening to the students’ discussion of the mathematics. At the end of class, students will be asked to do one of several closure activities. Sometimes the closure activity might be writing about what was learned that day. Sometimes teachers will have teams display their work in the classroom and the students do a Gallery Walk. During this walk, the students discuss the work done by other teams.
The kind of assessment a teacher is doing in these situations is called Formative Assessment or Assessment for Learning. By listening and watching carefully and asking questions, the teacher is able to determine at what level the students are understanding the material. S/he will know when to bring the class together to clarify a misunderstanding that may be occurring in more than one team. Or, s/he may see that one team can be pushed to try a deeper challenge while another needs to back up and revisit an earlier part of the problem with some help. This kind of assessment will help a teacher know what students know and what they don’t know.