Putting on the mindset to test: To get my students ready to test, I opened up the lesson today with three words written on the board. I asked: What do these words mean to you?
2. Inner voice
I asked them what these words meant. We discussed each word and decided that the "inner voice" was one of the most important things we have.
I asked them what their inner voice says to them while they are taking a math test.
I listed these on the board.
"I'm scared I am going to fail. I just know I am."
" Oh.... I knew this one, I knew this one...why can't I remember?"
"I give up. This is way too hard."
"I studied hard and I ROCK!"
Most students thought the first sentence was what they usually say to themselves.
I told them that positive thinking is a driving force in success. That our inner voice leads us when things get difficult and we need to listen. We need to reflect and try to "envision" our notes, what our teacher said, and what our classmates said. We need to ask ourselves, " What was the activity that helped us through the homework. What was said? "
I then played this video. I like it because it sets a lighter mood in the room just before a test. They love it. They laughed at the verse of " I put my pencil in my hand sometimes."
Today students took this test to show me if they understood multiplication concepts of arrays, grouping, order of operations and properties of mathematics. As we transition our curriculum, this test will be re written to fit Common Core better. It is not necessary for students to know the order of operations at the level we are teaching it just yet. They should know the Commutative Property and Associative Property in order to advance and master their multiplication standards in 4th grade. The order of operations is covered in depth later on, but is necessary to touch upon if equations of multi-step problems are to be mastered. So, this is why we have taught it and assessed it at this entry point into multiplication. In the future, I will be re-writing this test to hone it better for Common Core. As we transition, I have noticed many things that need to be tweeked and fixed, but often the time we have is limited and we need to do our best as educators to work with what we have at the moment. The test is good...it just could be better! Multiplication Concepts Old Test