To get kids to relax prior to the division pretest, I decided to read them Anno's Mysterious Multiplying Jar. This story is a wonderful way to talk about factorials. I read it to them and they ooed and ahhed about how the numbers progressed. They love this book.
We discussed the ideas behind factorials and played a little bit in our notebooks, multiplying 1 x 2 x 3 and then 1x2x3x4 and so on. I let them use the calculators on their iPads so that they could just play with the numbers and see how the factorials multiply as in the book. We reviewed how the Associative Property works with the factorials and that they could be multiplied in any order, but that keeping them in order helped us organize the number sense of factorials. We discussed how the exclamation point is used to signify a factorial and how strange that seemed.
I designed this test so that students could show mastery of 2,3 and 4 digit by one digit division problems as expected in CCSS 4.NBT.B.6. Students need to demonstrate division of multiples of ten and solving multi-step word problems while determining what should happen with a remainder is essential to show mastery of 4.OA.A.3. 4.OA.A.2 expects that students multiply or divide using the multiplicative comparison. Students are expected to solve word problems and they are to be written with equations and variable that prove students to prove understanding. One word problem has a writing component that models the type of explanations that CCSS based assessments will demand. This test thoroughly covers the division expectations of 4th grade Common Core.
Along with the test is a chart that keeps track of mastery. After the pretest is done, I fill in the chart. As they master the standard on the post test, we can see their progress and keep track for RTI work.
I passed out the tests after our story and students got busy working. I reassured them that the pre-test was to let me know what they knew about division and that they should do their best.