I start each math lesson with a Problem of the Day. I use the procedures outlined here on Problem of the Day Procedures.
Today's Problem of the Day:
There were 10 backpacks in the classroom. The teacher put 6 of them in the cubbies. How many backpacks are left in the classroom?
I set this problem up with some structures to help the students organize their thinking. I gave a blank number sentence frames to help the students to write their answer as an equation. On the Notebook file, there is also a picture of a backpack set to Infinite Cloner. This way the student can use it represent the problem. If you do not have a SMART Board, you can use the PDF and manipulatives, pictures, or students' drawings.
Since we do this whole group, I have one students come up and work on this problem. I remind the student to check their work when they are finished and have the class tell if they agree or disagree by showing a thumbs up or thumbs down. Students also have the opportunity to share why they agree or disagree.
After the Problem of the Day, I prepare the students to take the assessment. "Today we are going to take another math test. This is how I know how much you learned about subtraction."
I quickly go over the rules and procedures for taking a math test. Most of the students have done this many times now, so I do not take too much time on this. I have the students turn and face the back of the room, towards the small group table. I hold up the dividers that I will be using to separate the students during the test.
"I will be calling a few of you up at a time to take the test. You will come sit at my table just like you do during small group time, but these dividers will be between you and your friends. You need to keep your eyes on your own paper. That way I will see what you know on your paper and what your friends know on their papers."
I set up the dividers so the students can see how the table is going to look. I then walk back to the front of the room by the students to tell them what they will be doing.
"While I am calling people back to take the test, you will be working on your center activity. This will be almost like a regular day of centers, but we need to remember to be extra quiet so that our friends can pay attention and do their very best on the their tests!"
I call one student up to get the center for the table.
The centers for this week are:
I quickly circulate to make sure students are engaged and do not have any questions about how to complete the centers. I call several students back at a time to take the test. Between groups, I check in with the students doing centers and remind them to stay quiet while they work.
After about 20 minutes, I count down from 5 and have the students freeze. I have them put their materials back in the center tray, but keep it on their table. I switch the centers so that each table gets a new center to complete. I quickly circulate again to make sure that students do not have any questions about their new center. I then continue with the tests.
Prior to clean up, I check in with each table to see how the centers are going. I turn on Tidy Up by Dr. Jean. Students clean up and return to their seats. I continue centers and testing until the very end of our math time to get in as many tests as possible.
To take the test, I have the students come back to my small group table where I have test partitions already in place. I call students back in groups of 4 students. I try to pull groups that are at similar abilities levels and work at about the same pace. This makes it easier as I read the directions and move through the test.