How I Use Spiral Reviews to Guide my Math Reteaching

We’ve all been guilty of it. We look at our assessment data, see a good portion of our class mastered the assessment, and move on because our pacing guide dictates that we do. We know we have those kiddos that need more support before they’ll get to mastery. There’s also those that will struggle to retain their proficiency once we move on to a new unit. On top of those that have mastered that standard and are very comfortable moving forward. How do we meet all of our kids’ needs? It’s a struggle to balance reviewing to reinforce previously instructed content while also moving forward in order to teach everything we’re supposed to. I always picked a few things to continue to focus on and circle back to later, but I often struggled with maintaining that throughout the year as we covered more content. When I started using spiral review assessments to help dictate my math reteaching groups, I was able to be a lot more systematic in my remediation and my students’ performance increased. Here’s a look at how I use spiral reviews to guide my math reteaching.

Math Spiral Review

I use two different types of spiral reviews in my classroom. Every day for morning work, we do a spiral review page. In the beginning of the year, I spend the first 40ish days reviewing the previous year’s standards during this time. Then, we jump into the current year. During my spiral review, students sometimes see new content. There are some mixed feelings about giving students new content in this way, but I don’t spend a ton of time teaching the unknown skill. We use this opportunity to apply what we know in new ways, and get a quick introduction to the new content. This 15-20 minutes of our day gives ongoing practice with the standards and helps keep vocabulary fresh in students’ minds. I use this time to practice and review. It’s not graded for proficiency. It’s practice. The intention is to give daily practice and reinforcement of the standards. They also could be used as homework or during other independent practice throughout the day. You can find all of my daily math spiral reviews for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades in my TpT store. I sell them in sets of 40 pages and include yearlong bundles in both one grade level and mixed grade level sets.


2nd Grade math spiral review 3rd math spiral review

Spiral Review Assessments

I also use math spiral review assessments to do quick formative reassessments and plan my math reteaching groups. Once we are about halfway through the year, I create a schedule to continue to circle back and reassess content. I choose the highest priority standards as dictated by my state. I choose the standards that most connect to others. They give “more bang for my buck”. I space them out throughout the quarter. This allows me to continue to focus on teaching and supporting my current focus while also supporting our most immediately assessed standards.

I use my 3rd Grade Math Assessments Google Forms to assess all of the standards in the domain in one swoop. Because there are four whole-domain reviews, I can choose to use a couple throughout the year for this purpose. I then use the other two as spiraled practice. From that data, in addition to my original assessment data, I determine which students need reteaching on specific standards. At times, I may also give a specific standard’s assessment if I know I want additional information on something specific. I love that I can get updated data to plan my reteaching in just a few minutes, and that I don’t have to spend a lot of time grading. It allows me to focus my time on planning my math reteaching groups. I also then use the standard specific math assessment to check students’ mastery after reteaching.

3rd Grade Math Standards Assessment on laptop screen on a tablet with pens on side

A one-time spiral review form isn’t going to detail every missing piece in a student’s puzzle. But, it identifies which students are struggling with a specific standard or unit, or misconceptions that need to be remediated. In the past, I didn’t do the best job going back to skills from the beginning of the year. As the year went on, and I adjusted my math reteaching groups based on our weekly assessment data, our focus was always moving forward. I struggled to go back to earlier concepts in the spirit of continuing to support what my weekly assessment data showed. Once I started utilizing spiral reviews to assess student mastery of previously taught standards, I could easily adjust my groups without spending a lot of extra instructional time I didn’t have.

I want to note that I call these spiral review assessments. I use them as a formative assessment. Unless I’m using them to truly reassess my whole class’s mastery of the standard, I don’t put the grade in the gradebook. I use the assessment to drive my instruction. That’s truly the purpose of assessments, anyway. I also appreciate that it gives students practice on the standards in an ongoing way. It’s just a few minutes for those students that truly don’t need the practice, but it helps to keep the standards fresh in their heads.

My 3rd Grade Math Assessments Google Forms contain two versions of every single standard. Because there’s two, they’re perfect for pre and post teaching. Or for ongoing, spiraled practice. Each domain also has 4 Forms assessing all of the standards in that domain. They’re perfect for ongoing assessments throughout the room to help you tailor your instruction down. You can take a closer look at each of the domain assessments, or the entire year’s set.

Standards Tracking to Plan Math Reteaching

Tracking my students’ performance on their math assessments is a critical piece of the puzzle. I track my students’ scores on each skill and standard and provide ongoing support based on our weekly assessment data. I form regular math reteaching groups based on that data. But, as the year goes on, that reteaching also goes forward. My spiral review assessments allows me to ensure I’m focusing on older content.

I track my students’ performance on assessments in a Google Sheet. I like to track it outside of my district’s gradebook system because I can track things standard by standard and get a quick visual of student performance.

I’ve created math standards tracking spreadsheets for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. They’re prebuilt with each of the Common Core math standards. However, they’re completely customizable. If your state standards are different, you can tweak the content super simply. You also can add additional skills. For example, do you work on counting coins in 1st grade even though it’s a 2nd grade standard? I always did. There’s space to track it. Work on telling time to the minute in 2nd grade but it’s a 3rd grade standard? I always did. And there’s space to track that too. I’ve designed a ready-to-go tracking tool but I also wanted to be sure you could edit it to meet your needs.

There are two parts to the spreadsheet: the data entry sheets where you record your data and the individual student reports that are AUTOMATICALLY generated! The individual student reports are perfect for data meetings or for sending home to parents. The best part? You don’t have to do anything special. As scores are entered on each assessment, the individual student pages are updated.

This FREE tool also includes an in-depth video tutorial specific to your grade level. Sign up to download your math standards tracking spreadsheet by clicking the image below.

Individual student math data standard by standard, organized by domain, super helpful for math reteaching groups

Do you use spiral reviews to help guide your math reteaching groups? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

How I use Spiral reviews to guide math reteaching groups text with spiral notebooks and colored base ten blocks around the text

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