Reflection: Standardized Tests (PARCC/Smarter Balanced) Clean up before solving - Section 2: Activity


Standardized Tests frequently present equations where students must add like terms, use the distributive property, or deal with fractional coefficients before solving (or all of the above). In the list of possible answers to these problems, some of the choices will include results that students can arrive at when they make a mistake during a single step of the process. This is a reality in system that employs multiple choice tests. The distractor items are never random.

As I approach preparing my students for assessments of their progress with respect to the Common Core Curriculum, I know that being aware of possible mistakes helps students to be more aware of possible pitfalls as they work on standardized tests.  I am carefull, however, to avoid teaching to the test. When I discuss the mistakes that can be made, I try to tie it back to mathematical properties or the context of the original problem. I find that this helps my students to better understand the ideas behind the procedures that they use. 

  Equation Solving and Distractor Items
  Standardized Tests (PARCC/Smarter Balanced): Equation Solving and Distractor Items
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Clean up before solving

Unit 2: Solving Linear Equations
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: SWBAT simplify equations before solving.

Big Idea: Students must be skilled at adding like terms and using the distributive property correctly when solving many equations.

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Math, solving equations, Algebra, Linear and Nonlinear Equations, distributive property, like terms, simplifying equations
  60 minutes
image for clean up lesson
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