Math Praxis 5161

Discussion in 'Single Subject Tests' started by MrCoach615, May 12, 2016.

  1. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    The only one who was mean and nasty was you. And my username was something I chose years ago when I joined the website. A name is not reflective of one's current station in life. It was just when I was getting started in my career. The point I was trying to make, which you seemed to have missed, is that math teachers should have to demonstrate they know *enough* to teach the material to their students. They should be proficient in the very least at it. The Praxis 5161 is the qualifier, similar to licensing exams for any career show you *actually* can apply what you have learned.

    There seems to be a common theme in this country where people complain about standardized tests -- which test minimal understanding at best -- and then the tests gets dumb downed or eliminated outright. Case in point, in the state of California, community colleges are thinking of getting rid of math placement exams and the algebra 2 requirement altogether because they are "too hard."

    And by the way, my initial compliment still stands. I am happy you have achieved success in your career. Really. I did not say you were a bad student or question your credentials. I merely stated that math teachers need to be held to a higher standard and they should be. However, your comment, "Just a bunch of meaningless examples on math," is very telling and speaks to your lack of understanding. And it's funny that you mentioned arrogance because your post was fraught with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  2. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    Ash, the same applies here in Tennessee. You can take the Praxis for Algebra I and teach 8th or 9th graders. A lot of middle schools down here are starting to offer Algebra I in the 8th grade. But of course all schools still offer it in the 9th grade. Also, you're right about not needing advanced math to teach high school math. During my student teaching, I taught Geometry 1-B, Pre-Calculus Honors (the irony lol), and ACT PREP. My first Pre-Calc lesson was on Vectors (which I love). I took the book home, taught myself, and made an awesome lesson plan. I even had students come to me and tell me how much my lesson helped them with their AP Physics class, because they didn't understand Vectors when she taught it to them. Crazy how the student teacher who's understanding of mathematics "is minimal at best" was able to teach 12th graders the same lesson they couldn't comprehend when a teacher who's been teaching for 15+ years reviewed it a few weeks earlier. As I stated previously, just because someone is a wiz at their content doesn't make them a great teacher. Not only do you need to know the content, but you also need to be able to TEACH it. There's a major difference. My math teachers in high school were horrendous. I'm a smart girl and I love numbers, so I was able to still get good grades in those classes. Luckily, my math professors were all amazing!
     
  3. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    Oh, blah blah blah! I understood every single word you typed. It was just boring and irrelevant. That's all. I said the examples were meaningless because you decided to show off (in a boring way might I add) instead of 1.) Sharing how you've used your knowledge in math to educate your students and help them overcome their fears of the subject or 2.) Sharing what YOU did to prepare for the licensure exams.

    That's what I would have done.... instead of coming online and being negative. One of my *many* goals as an educator is to help my babies overcome their fear of math and to fall in love with it. Just like my 1830 professor did for me and many others. Seems like your goal is just to walk around spewing out random math equations to whoever will listen. lmao

    You can't be "happy" for someone, but turn around and say the things you said. I'm the Queen of nice nasty. Your original comment was very nice nasty. But I can take it just as much as I can dish it. You can keep your faux happiness. It came from a negative place.

    Nothing about my response was arrogant. Stating "not only will I get that 160" = confidence.... You know... speaking things into existence. Because I truly do believe in myself. I always knew this profession (and subject) was meant for me. If only I had a dollar every time a student told me they understood my teaching better than the teacher I was teaching under... I wouldn't be working right now. Instead, I'd be on vacation with my feet up. THAT along with other factors motivate me and give me the confidence to get that 160.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    If this is your regular personality then maybe you shouldn't be in charge of students for a living. Good grief. If your students get you this out of whack, then I would hate to see how you handle their misbehavior.

    My examples may be meaningless to YOU, but they still have meaning to other math educators who recognize the importance of higher-level maths. And when you said, "instead of 1.) Sharing how you've used your knowledge in math to educate your students," I did *exactly* that by providing two examples of how I furthered my student's understanding. I think there is a disconnect here.

    In fact, my math students score the highest on their SAT/ACT in our entire county, which has a population of 425,000 people and they score in the 80th percentile on standardized tests year after year. I am told by admin, students, and parents alike that I am appreciated because I take the time to actually explain the math in a clear and concise way, unlike their previous teachers who barely understood the material themselves or were learning it for the first time alongside the students. Teachers like those have no business in the classroom. It makes me very angry when I see students' educations suffer because of inadequate instruction. I take my job very seriously and do my absolute best to ensure my students attain mastery in my classroom. The same should be said for any other teacher.
     
  5. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    I was hesitant on purchasing the ETS study guides because I've read some comments saying it didn't help. But just because it didn't work for them doesn't mean it won't work for me. I didn't go all out the first time I took 5161. This time around I'm willing to pull out all stops to get the coveted 160. It's 5AM in the morning and I'm excited to take the test again. Guess futuremathsprof is good for something other than repeating math facts like a robot after all. I got a 143 on my first try. Just imagine if I had the Calc knowledge I had now. ;-)
     
  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I know you will get that 160, PrettyQueenBee, because you are very driven and sound like a reasonably intelligent person. It is my hope that you get much higher than that! If you are this keen about learning maths then your students will benefit immensely because they will pick up your passion. You've got this and I'm rooting for you, even though it may not think I am.

    Wishing you the best! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Double post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2019
  8. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    I’m in charge of you right now. That’s all that matters.

    I had zero issues with my students in regard to behavior. I’m from an urban neighborhood just like they are! So, I was able to connect with them and get them to understand that Ms. Bee does not tolerate disrespect or interruptions. Unlike the robotic math teacher down the hall who was fresh out of grad school with a 177 on the 5161 exam. Those kids ran her crazy. So much for a high level of content knowledge, huh? Lmao


    The students I taught came to class excited to learn. The principal was very impressed with my classroom management skills and my ability to reach the kids in ways a new teacher couldn’t. He gave awesome feedback to my school when I was done with student teaching and even recommended me!


    There you go again…. Spewing out meaningless, worthless, irrelevant words. The Valedictorian of my class made a 30 on the ACT and dropped out of a college a year later. Too bad those teachers of hers with all of that content knowledge couldn’t teach her a thing or two about how to survive in college. Sounds familiar? You just can’t help but to be robotic. I’m bored!


    Enjoy the rest of your day dollface.
     
  9. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    Sarcasm isn't your strong suit. Stick to something I have minimal knowledge in: Mathematics
     
  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Please look up the words "non sequitur" in your free time. You, too, have a great day and good luck studying! :)
     
  11. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    No need to look up something I already know the meaning of. Still irrelevant. Thanks anyway
     
  12. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Oh, the irony...
     
  13. Ash G

    Ash G Rookie

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    Wake up to guns being fired lol. Future I would have to agree with Pretty with where she is coming from to an extent. There really isn't a need for you to explain a proof or what you do above and beyond in your classes for when a student asks why. Especially when we are on a Praxis 5161 forum chat. You can get a 200 on the Praxis showing your understanding of the content and that still wouldn't show you're a great teacher. The problem with content is you can know all the content in the world but if you don't know how to convey it (most of my math professors) then what is so great about that? Obviously you need to know your stuff but a math professor with a PhD. knows even more. Math professors get their PhD. and don't even take an education course at all. Does that make sense to you lol? They just know so much math content they get their professor position. You need to have an understanding of content obviously but also be able to convey it. Math professors have all the content in their mathematical arsenal and could fill up a board with proofs. My one professor did that the entire semester...... Theorem, proof, example.... We weren't tested on the proofs thankfully and needed to know the examples in class and on the HW. Back to the Praxis scores and Future congrats on the 194 because that's a solid score and Pretty YOU WILL get higher than that 143. Keep pushing through and if you any questions I think everyone in the forum is here to help!! Even Futuremathsprof lol
     
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  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Yes, students aren't tested on the proofs for the most part, but they help foster greater understanding and fluency. Just saying here's the Pythagorean Theorem, plug in the numbers, and memorize it only works for right triangles is not enough. And you will find that students will forget if you don't make sure to explain everything fully.

    And actually, AshG, students are tested on proofs heavily in geometry and have to do certain proofs in Calculus (for example, delta-epsilon proofs). Not to mention, AP Statistics students are expected to be able to provide context to their calculations on the AP test, meaning they not only have to give a numeric answer, but explain the mathematics and justify their work. The same can be said for certain FRQs on the AP Calculus exams.

    Students don't understand a lot of the time why they're doing what they're doing and aren't making the associations like they should. I have been told time and time again by my students through email and word of mouth that they understand things better when I explain everything and it shows in their test scores. I have a proven track record and my students exceed the state benchmarks year and year.

    And yes, a good test score doesn't automatically make one a good teacher. However, why can't you be "both a math wiz" and score high on the test AS WELL AS be a good teacher? Why can't you have both? I don't think they are mutually exclusive.

    There is a strong positive correlation between SAT/ACT scores and student success in college. After all, they are aptitude tests and they are designed to measure success. And I know that correlation does not causation; however, students with higher SAT/ACT scores are much *more likely* to do well than their peers who score below the national average (i.e. don't meet the cutoff). The same can be said of teachers who can't pass the Praxis 5161 or other state certification tests. Now, I am not saying any of you are bad teachers or can't pass. That's not what I am saying at all. I believe that you all have the capability to do well, and the ability to learn. We all have bad days and bad tests. BUT, you still should have to demonstrate, convincingly, that you have command of the subject matter. There needs to be a standard (160) for all teachers that shows you *know enough* to teach mathematics at the high school level. Again, this does not that indicate that you are necessarily a good teacher. That is what you're student teaching, TPAs, and classroom observations are for.

    Memorization does not stress understanding. I give my students challenging problems all the time and they are that much better for it. I still get emails from students that say I made college math and science so easy for them because my classes are so rigorous and in some instances, more difficult than their college math classes, lol. I have a high expectation for all of my students. BUT, I don't just drone on and on like some college professors I've seen. I am lively, up and about, I crack jokes, and I get the students involved with fun and engaging tasks. I am not monotonous at all. Proofs are still necessary, though. For example, did you know that students do algebraic proof all the time? They may not always write the reasoning (symmetric property, subtraction property of equality, etc.) for each step, but they certainly show the steps when they do the algebra -- that's algebraic proof. That is an entire unit in geometry! :)

    Final note: Colleges, universities, and employers have said that today's middle school and high school math students are generally unprepared and I am inclined to agree with them. When students first arrive to my classroom, they do not work well in groups, they can't do simple arithmetic, they don't know their multiplication tables like they should, they can't come to accurate solutions on their own, they lack number sense, and they hadn't mastered previous course material. By the time they leave my classroom, my students are able to do most or nearly all of those things and then some. And that is because I challenge them and make them justify their answers.

    Anyway, good luck studying and I wish you the best of luck in all that you do AshG! You will eventually beat this test! I know it. The same goes for you all who are struggling. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. :)
     
  15. Ash G

    Ash G Rookie

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    It sounds like you teach a different caliber student. Do you teach at an all white, middle to upper class school where most of the students are interested in actually learning? You have to keep in mind who you're teaching. I have kids that have failed math from 6th grade all the way through 8th grade and then get to high school not having the tools. Teach a kid who doesn't know how to add/subtract integers, combine like terms, can't do arithmetic by hand, etc. What the kids fail to realize is that we don't keep passing them on in HS. We have kids that are seniors who haven't passed Algebra 1/Geometry who don't graduate because of math.
    It's going to be hard to show a kid a fancy Pythagorean Theorem Proof if they don't have the tools to understand it. I'm glad you make your class rigorous because it seems like your students grasp the material quickly. A lot of high school is plug and chug with memorization of formulas. I never was shown a proof of Pyth Thm. until college and I was a great student in HS. I used Pyth. Thm. in Calculus and knew how to use it never seeing a proof of it. Just because you have never seen a proof of the formula or how it's derived doesn't mean you can't use it in a math problem. Like I said before if I had enough time I would go way more in depth with deriving formulas but there just isn't enough time. Plus my clientele isn't up to par to go extremely in depth of the math behind the scenes.

    PS: I passed my test with a 169..... No more studying for me :)..... I'm just here to help people on this forum that need insight on how to pass the test.
     
  16. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    My point exactly. I teach at an urban school where many of them don't have the perfect household, others are teen parents, working two jobs, don't have a stable home, etc. I even have students who are adopted and are currently struggling to adjust. You think being a "wiz" in your content area (alone) is going to help them do well in the course? Let alone be motivated to even come to school. I can't stand teachers who think teaching cookie cutter students is the norm. It's far from the truth. That's why I put emphasis on connecting with students on a deeper level. When you teach at the type of school I teach at, the kids need much more than content. You have to be their teacher, mother, counselor, aunt, father, etc. The things some of these kids are going through bothers me. And I can identify with them because I didn't have the perfect upbringing either. That's why my life experiences, larger-than-life personality AND my content knowledge makes me the perfect teacher for them. Imagine if I were one of those robotic teachers. A lot of the kids are eager to learn... they just don't have anyone who truly believes in them. More teachers need to learn how to connect with the type of students they teach. Take a ride around their neighborhood and get to know them. I applaud any teacher (regardless of content area) who teaches inner city kids. I'm sure they can easily go to some uppity private school. Teaching is all about SERVICE.... Hence why the Perkins Loan will forgive your entire loan. Some of us are doing a service by teaching in a high needs content area at "low income" schools. Although state benchmark scores will hold a lot of weight in terms of what level the district will score you, what are YOU (not you specifically, Ash lol) doing to SERVICE your students? And if the only answers you can come up with is they learned proofs they probably won't see again, high benchmark exam scores and high ACT/SAT scores, you're in the wrong field. And I don't care what anyone says.

    I have teachers who not only taught me how to master the content, but taught me life lessons that I still follow. My 2nd grade teacher passed away from Cancer recently. I went to her funeral... that's how close we were. She taught me to never give up, and she is the reason why I write in journals. In the 2nd grade, we had to write every single day in our composition book. She knew about the things I was going through at a young age and she encouraged me. She even came to my college graduation... in a wheelchair and all. NOW THAT'S a teacher. I strive to be like Ms. Harms, along with many other of my teachers who've influenced me. I want to be remembered as Ms. Bee- the teacher who knew her math like the back of her hand AND taught them how to survive in this chaotic world. Not Ms. Bee- the android who can spit out any proof in a millisecond. Please lmao

    Now can we please go back to discussing 5161? Because I have a few questions concerning the calculator and test windows.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  17. Ash G

    Ash G Rookie

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    What questions about the calculator? Did you download the trial version and watch the youtube videos?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Congratulations Ash G, well done! That is great to hear that you passed! :)
     
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  19. RNSP

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    I have Always hard time taking test and it did not show what you know. If I have more I may answer 90% of the questions there. I'm using the cliffsnotes and I got a lot good advise from Ash G. I'm answer Can you... from the test website Math knowledge we should have. English is not my first language so I'm slow to read and answer the questions. It did not prove what anyone know. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT DO YOU THINK THE LAST TEST YOU TAKE ASK MORE ABOUT. Mine in May had a lot word problem with speed acceleration. Let focus in help each other here. Thanks Ash. G and everyone who takes your time to answer my e-mail. Wish you all the best. I will take the test in August 18.
     
  20. PrettyQueenBee

    PrettyQueenBee Rookie

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    I haven't had time, but I made note of it in my planner. I got a job teaching at the same school I did my student teaching. So I've spent the last 3 days at campus all day setting my room up. I'll be teaching Algebra I and ACT PREP. My question for the calculator: Is it a full scientific calculator? Like... Can it do everything that my TI-84 Plus CE can do? When I took the test in 2016, they allowed the use of personal calculators, so I never had to download the trial version. I took the test 2 months before they changed the calculator rules. They are so dang petty. lol

    Today, I randomly took a practice test in the Cliff Notes book, and I got 68%, which scaled at 165. Of course it's not the actual test, but it's a confidence booster. Especially since I haven't studied as much as I should. I didn't really study like I should have the first time I took it, so I don't want to let that happen again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017

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