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 3 standards were assessed on this test, each is listed below with the number of questions linked to the standard. There were a total of 17 questions on this test, 15 multiple choice and 2 open response.
The lowest mastered standard was 7.RP.3, with 71% of students below basic understanding, as assessed by the Unit 6 test. “Below basic” is categorized by a score less than 70% on this test. There are 8 questions linked to this standard, all in consecutive order, items 4 – 10. I’ve listed each item below with an example of the analysis I complete to identify the priority skills and concepts I need to reteach to the entire class or in small groups. I’ve also attached each of the questions included for this standard in a resource document.
Question 4, 60% correct – compare two sale prices through difference
Most common wrong answer: C; results when calculating the discounts alone and finding their difference, rather than finding the difference of the sale prices
Question 5, 55% correct – percent increase
Most common wrong answer: B; results when students calculate the change (30.8 – 22) instead of the percent increase
Question 6, 59% correct – percent of whole numbers, proportions, algebraic expressions to represent problem situations
Most common wrong answer: C (7 students) & D (11 students); this is a complex problem which requires the ability to organize the information given into parts of the story about the whole. There are three quantities to be considered: the number of children, adults, and the total. Students who answered with letter C most likely estimated 187 times 2, which assumes that there are an equal number of adults and children. Those who answered D assumed 187 was 45% of the total.
Question 7, 84% correct – proportions
Most common wrong answer: A and D, each missed by 4 students; I will be reviewing this question with these 8 students individually, reviewing possible visual strategies to use so that the proportions are set up correctly.
Question 8, 63% correct – calculating discount and sale price
Most common wrong answer: B; students calculated the discount alone without subtracting from the total
Question 9, 39% correct – measurement conversions and comparing unit price
Most common wrong answer: C; this is the unit price of the bulk raisins. Students who chose this answer choice may not have understood that “savings” meant calculating the difference in unit prices.
Question 10, 64% correct – percent of a whole and difference
Most common wrong answer: A; students computed the percentage in square feet that has been completed, NOT the amount which remained.
After analyzing the most common wrong answers and finding that it is the same students making these errors, I am better able to diagnose the problem and put together a plan to fix these issues. There seems to be a reoccurring problem of reading word problems carefully. Many of the same students miss questions where there are “hidden” steps that must be implied if the student understands the relationships between the values in the word problem. For example, on question 9, which implies a comparison of the unit rates for the raisins, students often seemed to get lost in the calculations, not understanding what it meant to compute the “savings”. At times, it also seems that students need a review of the formulas to calculate percent change. On question 5, I plan to review the formula with smaller groups of students, noting that the percent change is calculated using the difference out of the whole.