Formative Assessment in Elementary Mathematics: Interviewing Children About Their Mathematical Thinking in Classrooms and Online (PreK-1)

Learning about our students’ mathematical thinking at the beginning of the school year will be more important this year than ever. What do students already know? What are good next steps for their learning? In this course, educators will investigate how children develop important mathematical ideas across grade levels and consider how to use interviews and observations to pay careful attention to the details of their mathematical thinking. Videos and artifacts from math interviews will provide a context for analyzing children’s thinking, discussing implications for instruction, and planning our own math interviews. Importantly, we will consider ways to use an interview/observation approach to formative assessment flexibly in online and in-person settings.

Course goals include:

  • Educators will deepen their understanding of how children develop important mathematical ideas over time.
  • Educators will gain confidence in using this knowledge to analyze students’ mathematical thinking.
  • Educators will consider a range of flexible strategies for assessing students’ mathematical thinking and prepare to lead formative assessment interviews/observations with their own students.


This course is designed for PreK-1 educators. Drawing upon the work of Cognitively Guided Instruction, we will learn about how children develop counting and strategies for single-digit operations. While we will focus on number and operation, the approach to formative assessment will be useful across other mathematical topics.

Participants will meet in three online synchronous sessions (10am-noon PST on July 7, 14, & 21). Participants will also complete approximately 1.5 hours of asynchronous reading and coursework between sessions (3 hours total).

This course is offered for 9 clock hours.

Registration is limited to 30 participants. Please join our waitlist if the course becomes full. We will contact you in the event that a seat becomes available or an additional date/time of the course is created. For questions, please contact

Meet the Facilitator

Kendra Lomax

Kendra Lomax is an early childhood and elementary educator who cares deeply about how young children come to know and love mathematics. She works in classrooms alongside teachers and leaders to learn together how to engage children in mathematics learning that values and affirms the wealth of mathematical, social, cultural, and linguistic knowledge of children and families.