Understanding Addition:Unit Review, Test, and Test Strategy

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SWBAT demonstrate their understanding of addition word problems, properties, and notation with numbers to 10.

Big Idea

Students must learn to persevere to solve problems and learn to set goals for achieving mastery. We assess them to have proof of their accuracy and to give the student an idea of how much success they have achieved.

Whole Group Review

10 minutes

I spend time reviewing all concepts before I test my students so that students don't go into the assessment "cold."  I review each concept that we have covered in the previous unit, but I do not "teach" the concept.  A review is exactly that, time spent gliding over topics and bringing it freshly into their minds.  It is not a time to reteach concepts.  

My process is to teach, teach, teach, then review, then test, and, last,reteach.  I have never had a topic that the entire class mastered the first time.  I use the test to decide what concepts need further reteaching.  The common core standards want our students to think about what their doing, not just follow a list of steps.  You will want to test to see are they examining their thinking and processing the skills you are teaching them.

Your review should touch on:

  • What do T and F stand for and how do we use them to tell about an answer? To review this, I will display 4 +1=7 on the board and ask them is it right or wrong, when I get their answer I will ask, is this T or F?  This will also help me see who has a solid understanding of the equals sign.  The assessment will touch on Common Core standard 1.OA.D.7 to check for understanding of whether students can tell if an equation is true or false.
  • How do we form a number sentence for addition?  I will verbally state a simple word problem and ask for assistance in writing the sentence to match it.  For example, I would say, "2 dogs were eating. 1 more dog joined them. How many in all?  (2+1=3)" I want to assess for Common Core standard 1.OA.A.1 to check for understanding of how to add numbers together based on information in a word problem.
  • What is the Commutative Property of Addition and how can it help us solve addition problems? I will ask my class what happens to a problem when I use the Commutative Property. I want them to remember: we can flip the first two numbers and get the same answer. I want to assess for Common Core standard 1.OA.B.3 to identify my students understanding of operations as strategies to solve addition.

To make sure all students get a chance to participate in this review, I will use a mixture of calling on volunteers for answers to questions, asking students to turn to a partner and talk to them about ideas about review concepts, and using sticks to cold call on students randomly to initiate whole group discussion.

Administering the Assessment

30 minutes

When I pass out the Understanding Addition Test I will walk them through it by reading the instructions and pausing at each section and give them time to complete it.  If I feel the only part they should get support on is reading the word problems (I don't want a student to miss a problem because of decoding issues), so I will have them go to that section first, read each problem to them and solve.  Then, I will allow them to work through everything else on their own.

Early Finishers

10 minutes

I learned early in my career, first graders get the wiggles if you do not give them something to do.  Also, we all know kids never finish with the same test or assignment at the same time.  It is easy during an assignment to allow the early finishers to turn it in and move on to a center, read, or some other type of independent work. When I have allowed freedom to roam I have had students wandering over to help others or begin conversations that disrupt others.  

My answer to this issue is to always give them something to do at their desk that can be accessed quietly and not disturb their neighbor.  I always make sure they have their library book or a classroom library book at their desk before a test.  Also, I give instructions before the test if they finish early, please turn their test over and draw a picture.  Watch this Test Management Strategy video.  If you have been studying a certain topic, have them draw a picture related to it. You could even offer a bonus to create their own problem, fix a sentence, or draw a picture about a character in a book that was read that day.