We had divided this unit up because the concepts were too cumbersome to manage if we expected mastery of the standards. This first test on addition and place value skills will show us the knowledge that they can move on to greater concepts and master subtraction of multi-digit numbers.
Before the test today, we reviewed good test taking strategies to make sure that everyone was prepared.
I asked the students what our goals were for this test. I began a list on the Smart Board. Of course I got responses that eluded to getting A's on the test. I redirected the energy to more specific answers. I started hearing what I wanted to hear.
1. Line up numbers.
2. Underline and circle when trying to round.
3. Read directions carefully.
4. Show all work.
5. Check your work before you hand it in.
6. Make sure the name and date is on your paper.
I listed the last one.
&. Above all, think! Read numbers aloud if you need to.
I reminded them that I knew from the same test, given as a pretest, that they did not know expanded form. I wanted them to think about how far they had come in a very short time and appreciate showing me their growth.
I have adopted speaking language about mastery of standards, being excited about seeing our growth and taking the responsibility for our learning...and how wonderful that is. It is my hope that through this language, students rise to their potentials and develop a love for math.
All goals and points are listed on the test so that students understand what is being assessed. The goals are CCSS based, but in student friendly language. As we transition, we are trying to bring CCSS into complete focus. Putting the standards on the tests make a difference in student understanding of why they are taking their exam and what is expected for them to show.
Students were allowed to take a clipboard and sit anywhere in the room for their Addition Test. Many of them chose to stay seated. My classroom is set up in collaborative groups.
I allow this for two reasons. 1. My students sit in groups and it is easier than putting up folders or moving desks. 2. It allows these young students to relax. Several of my students have test anxiety. I am hoping that it settles down gradually as I work with them.( Especially before our state exams.)
Students were able to do the test on their worksheet, but could use a loose leaf paper if they wanted to recopy and figure the problems on the loose leaf. Some chose to use graph paper to line up their numbers.
They were all done in about 45 to 50 minutes.
Students who were done worked quietly on eSpark on their iPad. ( This is a purchased program that is similar to Compass Learning. Their sessions are based on their MAP test scores.)
I am hoping to see strategies I have taught them throughout this unit be a natural "go to" as they solve their problems. I should see underlining and circling while they round numbers. I should see a KWS ( What do I know? What do I want to know? How do I solve/ with equations and variables) and possibly a start, change result and math mountains.