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Assessing Student Proficiency in Early Number Sense (ASPENS)
  • K-1

Mathematical thinking is an essential 21 st century skill. ASPENS ensures students get off to the right start by providing brief universal screening and progress monitoring assessments.

ASPENS measures are research-based, produce reliable, valid results and align with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics by assessing key mathematical processes and proficiencies. This data guides educators to:

  • Identify students who are at risk for mathematical difficulties
  • Provide targeted intervention support
  • Track progress and monitor growth for students who may be struggling
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of intervention

ASPENS is a series of three one-to-two minute timed predictive measures administered for the purposes of screening and progress monitoring student mathematical proficiency in kindergarten and first grade.

ASPENS measures assess students’ understanding of critical number concepts in kindergarten and first grade, as well as students’ abilities to use their understanding of these concepts in mathematical performance tasks.

Research strongly suggests that if students can make significant gains in mathematics in kindergarten and first grade, their long-term trajectory in mathematics is likely to be satisfactory. Therefore, there is a critical need to identify students who require early intervention in mathematics.

These predictive measures focus on two critical aspects of development of mathematics proficiency in order to create theoretically sound early screening and progress monitoring assessments:

  • Development of an increasingly refined sense of the relative magnitude of numbers (e.g., knowing that 18 is a little bit bigger than 16, but a lot bigger than 9) (Siegler & Booth, 2004)
  • Ability to count strategically and efficiently (e.g., knowing that 2 + 19 is the same as 19 + 2, so it is much quicker to start at 19 and count up to 21)

Buy in Store

Curriculum Samples
ASPENS: Thinking Smart About Number Sense and Mathematical Assessment

Presented by ASPENS author:
Ben Clarke, Ph.D.
60 min.
Original broadcast: 6/26/2012