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This four-hour face-to-face course is part of a series on Formative Assessment Strategies for Math. In this course, you will learn the elements of parallel tasks and how to use them for formative assessment. You will also have an opportunity to create your own set of parallel tasks so you can go back to your classroom with a new, ready-to-use tool. This course assumes that there is an understanding of what formative assessment is and how it differs from summative assessment. (For a review of the difference between the two, we recommend reviewing this fact sheet before attending the course.)


This professional development activity/course is designed for:

  • All teachers involved in adult numeracy instruction

Assessment is crucial to successful instruction, and research has shown that when done effectively, formative assessment can actually improve student outcomes in addition to providing information about student learning. According to Jo Boaler in "Aligning Assessment to Brain Science" (2017), "When we give assessments to students we create an important opportunity. Well-crafted tasks and questions accompanied by clear feedback offer students a growth mindset pathway that helps them to know that they can learn to high levels, and, critically, how they can get there." One format for such tasks is parallel tasks, which are sets of tasks that address the same math concept at different levels. They are designed to give students in multilevel classrooms a chance to choose and work on a task that is challenging for them, and also participate in whole group discussions about the concepts being assessed.

This is a four-hour workshop. To receive a certificate of completion, you must attend the entire face-to-face-session. For more information, please contact Sherry Soares ( 

Learning Objectives: 

Upon completion of this professional development activity/course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the elements of parallel tasks
  • Use parallel tasks for formative assessment
  • Use the DEN process to make instructional decisions
  • Create a set of parallel tasks for an upcoming lesson or unit
Presenter(s) / Facilitator(s): 


09/11/2019 - 9:30am to 1:30pm
Middlesex Community College
591 Springs Road, Room 113 in Building 9 (Enrollment Ctr)
Bedford, MA 01730
PD Center: 

Math and Numeracy

SABES Mathematics and Adult Numeracy Curriculum and Instruction PD Center
Topic Area: 
ABE/Adult Education
College and Career Readiness
College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE)
High School Equivalency (HiSET/GED)
Learning Disabilities
Mathematics and Adult Numeracy
PDP Eligible: 
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