Students enter silently according to the Daily Entrance Routine. All students are spread out around the room so that they are sitting at isolated spots. Some noise canceling headphones and dividers are provided. A timer on the SmartBoard displays the amount of time left until the end of class. The timer is not started until all students receive their test books and bubbles sheets.
A total of 7 standards were assessed on this test, each is listed below with the number of questions linked to the standard. There were a total of 20 questions on this test, 18 multiple choice and 2 open response.
The 3 lowest mastered standards are 7.G.1 (27%), 7.RP.1(45%) and 7.RP.2 (52%). Each percentage represents the percent of students who “mastered” that standard as measured by their responses in the test. I begin diving into the data by looking at the lowest in mastery, the geometry standard on scale drawings. This one hurts the most because I feel like I did a good job presenting the concepts within real world contexts, but I remind myself that I cannot make any determinations until I look more closely at the data.
The lowest in percentage of these 5 questions is #11, a multiple choice question that only 10% of my 7th graders answered correctly. It reads:
Jake has a rectangular map of his hometown. The dimensions of the map are 5 inches by 6 inches, and the scale is 1 inch = 0.5 mile. Jake redrew the map so that its final dimensions are 10 inches by 12 inches. What scale should Jake include on the enlarged map?
A. 12 inches = 0.5 mile
B. 2 inches = 1 mile
C. 1 inch = 0.25 mile
D. I inch = 1 mile
Our regional data team has been doing an excellent job creating reports that allow me to analyze my data easily, eliminating the burden of having to create this spreadsheet myself.
As can be seen, it is a spreadsheet that is color coded to indicate incorrect answers. Anywhere that there is a grey, blank box it indicates a correct answer given. For question 11 mentioned above, the correct answer is C. Before theorizing about all the different reasons students may not be getting this question correctly, (multiple steps, use of logic, trying out all the answer choices, etc) it is best to analyze the answers given. According to the spreadsheet, it looks like the most common wrong answer was letter B.
*Note: I use countif formulas on excel sometimes to determine the most popular wrong answer. I am lucky to have an awesome data team that already calculates these details for me in a separate report, but once upon a time, I had to do this on my own. Countif formulas to the rescue:
Now, why B? My best interpretation is that students compared the old map with the new map where the proportion IS 1 : 2. Also, the dimensions were doubled from the old map to the new map, which would make sense why students thought this would be the answer. It’s important not to fully assume this is the entire reason behind this wrong answer and I still have to check in with those 39 students to verify if my assumption is correct. By analyzing this piece of data though, I can form a plan about the way in which I will review this problem and with which strategies I must arm my students.
This in-depth process for each question is lengthy, but it will save time in the long run, making sure we are reviewing the topics that most need review, and eliminating the most common issues.