Formative Assessment Using the U-P-S Strategy
Lesson Objective: Assess how students understand, plan, and solve problems
Grades 9-12 / Math / Geometry

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Mickle assess learning through each part of the U-P-S strategy?
  2. How can students use this strategy to assess their own understanding?
  3. How could the data gathered from this strategy be used to inform instruction?
How could the data gathered from this strategy be used to inform instruction? I love the way Ms. Mickle makes use of her observations - I've always tried to use student work to guide my instruction, but Ms. Mickle helped me make the following connections: (1) Understanding the problem requires comprehension of what is read, so lack of ability to explain in writing may be indicative of the student's difficulties in comprehending (understanding) what they read; (2) Planning stage can give great insight into the types of learners we have in our classrooms (strategies used in planning can also indicate students' preferences for algebraic or geometric approaches); (3) Holes in the Solution indicate aspects of the lesson that were not mastered; and (4) Checking provides the capstone that allows us to determine levels of understanding. Using UPS-Check, we can better plan and provide interventions: (1) Reading / writing strategies for those who have difficulty writing their explanations, (2) Knowing our students' learning preferences helps us prepare lessons that match and expand their favored learning modes, (3) Solutions with holes can guide our next lessons to fill in the gaps before and / or as we move on to new content, and (4) Check strategies can help us identify those students who are ready for more challenging work vs those who need additional work on the current problem types. Thanks for helping me to see how phases of student solutions can be used to guide planning and inform future instruction! Great ideas!
Recommended (2)
I like the idea of Ms Mickle. I want to try this idea, the UPS strategy . I agree that students need to understand the problem before they can plan and solve. I am pretty sure that they can explain all the solutions they have with them because of the collaborative effort they give to the group they belong.Thanks for showing your idea and this really helps me in my future plans. Thank you so much Ms Mickle.
Recommended (2)
I will share this strategy with my teachers. It takes our WITQAM (What Is The Question Asking Me) to the next level to check their solutions. This will be a good next step for math,.
Recommended (3)
Although I am not a core teacher (CTE), I can incorporate the same learning strategies in my courses (Family & Consumer Sciences, Food & Nutrition, Dietetics, Education & Training, Teaching I & II). I teach these course with in a two(2) -year time frame.
Recommended (0)
This is a great strategy I will be passing along to my colleagues! Thanks.
Recommended (1)


  • Formative Assessment Using the U-P-S Strategy Transcript

    Card: Strategies: Formative Assessment using UPS (check)
    TeRaze Mickle: Today we are

    Formative Assessment Using the U-P-S Strategy Transcript

    Card: Strategies: Formative Assessment using UPS (check)
    TeRaze Mickle: Today we are going to use the UPS shake process again.

    Lower Third: TeRaze Mickle
    9th-10 Grade Geometry
    Cedar Hill Collegiate High School, Cedar Hill, Texas
    TeRaze Mickle: The UPS process is a strategy that I use. The U stands for understanding the problem first.
    Card: U = Understanding.
    TeRaze Mickle: The P stands for planning out the steps that you're going to use to solve the problem.
    Card: P = Planning.
    TeRaze Mickle: And the S stands for the solve part of the problem.
    Card: S = Solve.
    TeRaze Mickle: Giving the reasoning why you're doing your steps.

    Card: ? = Check

    +++ 00:00:39 +++
    TeRaze Mickle: And the check part checks for your reason to see if your answer's logical, your calculations are right.
    TeRaze Mickle: The challenge is on. Let's see, can you use the thinking the process, embedded with all the other strategies, in order to solve the problem?
    TeRaze Mickle: Doing the U process, I've noticed this: if a child can't articulate it in writing, they've probably got a reading comprehension issue.

    +++ 00:00:58 +++
    TeRaze Mickle: In this section of the planning, you're supposed to devise a plan in writing. I see the pictorial part, but where's the writing?
    TeRaze Mickle: The two, if they can't plan it, they can draw it and they can see it, then they can write it out a little bit better, but that helps me with knowing my visual learners and things like that.
    TeRaze Mickle: You're skipping all the steps in between. I'm going to need the work shown here. That came from the calculator, right?
    Student: Mm-hmm.
    TeRaze Mickle: So whatever tan was, put that there equal to x/100 and finish it out and then show me this part.

    +++ 00:01:28 +++
    TeRaze Mickle: The solve part, if they're just repeating some steps and don't know why, then that tells me I have to go back and explain why they did stuff. Go back over some more properties, some more rules, some more definitions, some theorems.
    TeRaze Mickle: Surface area?
    Student: Uh-huh.
    TeRaze Mickle: Wait a minute.
    Student: You would use volume.
    Student: Volume? Okay.

    TeRaze Mickle: Your volume is your inside. Your surface area is only the outside, so that would only the outside portion. So it has to be volume.
    TeRaze Mickle: And of course, they find a way of checking it, that means they really, really understand it.

    Student: We should prove why we use ten instead of cosine and sine. (Okay)
    +++ 00:01:58 +++
    TeRaze Mickle: All of you all trying to check you work good job! Go on with that, yeah, good.

School Details

Cedar Hill High School
1 Longhorn Boulevard
Cedar Hill TX 75104
Population: 1731

Data Provided By:



TeRaze Mickle



All Grades / All Subjects / Tch Tools

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, All Subjects, Class Culture

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12, ELA, Class Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Students / Class Culture