SAT prep courses

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Aliceacc, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2007

    I teach SAT prep over the summer, and again during the school year as one of my preps.

    What makes for a good program? How are they organized? Can anyone give me any input?

    I'm thinking of suggesting some changes to the school one, but don't yet know what to suggest.
     
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  3. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Alice, I taught SAT Prep a few years ago. I think we "discussed" this briefly on another thread a few weeks ago. You are going to be team teaching with an English teacher, right? In other words, you'll just focus on the math portion?

    Anywho, what we (the math teacher and I) found works best is for the kids to get as much *real* practice as possible, especially in math. We bought the 10 Real SATs book and gave them a test just about every 3 weeks (because it takes several days to administer it if you follow the time constraints of the test--which we did). Because in the math classes, the skills are really the same for every test, the math teacher would give them a break down of their results, including "here's your score" and "here's what it would have been if you had SKIPPED the ones you didn't know". Their scores were always quite a bit higher once that learned to skip the level 5 questions! :p

    Our school purchased tons of that SAT prep material, but nothing worked in math like simply taking lots of practice tests and reviewing how to solve those types of problems.

    We also learned that the Princeton Review and Kaplan materials were seriously lacking in the math sections. They asked questions in formats that would never be used on the real test.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 11, 2007

    Here's what I was thinking:

    the summer program I teach does it this way: the types of problems are broken down by topic: 2 weeks of geometry, 2 of algebra, 2 of arithmetic, 1 of verbal problems. I'm wondering if that more focused approach might help the kids at my school. I would also include classes on the keys of the calculator (exponent, fraction, erase...), the directions & strategies for different types of problems (mult choice vs free response), one on applying for scholarships. Of course, as a 10 month course, there would also be several months of just taking the tests as they come up.

    What we normally do is this: since most periods are 38 minutes, he have the kids do half of a section (evens or odds) in a period,then go over those problems in the remaining time of the period.

    I like some of the Princeton Review strategies; I incorporate those as I go along. It's a totally different approach than when I teach a normal math class; this is "let's beat the test" and Princeton is great at that!

    Does this all make sense??

    I have 6 sections and my friend has 6 sections. If this is the route we chose to go, I'm fairly sure we could talk the rest of the department into agreeing.
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    It's certainly not a traditional class! LOL! You are a strong math teacher; you'll figure out what the kids need!

    By the way, do they have Slyvan Learning Centers up north? They have some great SAT prep materials.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    They do, but I'm too cheap to pay for them!

    And my other classes are "traditional"-- 3 algebra honors, one "below average"
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 11, 2007

    You might browse the offerings from SparkNotes, which is Barnes & Noble's cheap and efficient test-prep line. There are some nifty little volumes for less than $5 that delve into various SAT subskills (the Vocabulary book is particularly nice, but out of print when I checked a month or so ago).
     

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