3rd Grade Multiplication Timed Test

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by ajd5160, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. ajd5160

    ajd5160 Rookie

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I am looking for an opinion on the amount of time that 3rd grade students should be given for multiplication timed tests. I am an inner city school teacher (3rd grade) who gives timed tests each week. The tests are 25 questions and my students have 3 minutes (5 seconds per).

    My nephew is a third grade student. He attends an affluent school district. His timed tests are 40 questions in 2 minutes (2 seconds per).

    I feel like this is not a lot of time and the issue is personal because he is not passing (only 5 kids did in the class- a note was sent home). He is able to say the facts with flashcards with reasonable speed.

    I am looking for opinions. What is the goal of timed tests at this stage, in your opinion? I feel as though it is to measure the students ability to figure the problem out in a reasonable amount of time and speed will come. Am I not challenging my inner city students enough?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Jan 10, 2011

    My opinion will probably be different than most.

    Do the students know the times tables untimed? If not, you are giving them an exercise in futility and wasting your time. You don't learn something in a pressure environment such as a timed test. You just cause anxiety and documentation that they don't know what you know they don't know. Focus your time on accuracy and repetition instead of speed.

    If you must do a timed test - required by school, have them try to beat their best time instead of an arbitrary time. Or utilize the time to build fluency on the ones you know they know. More work for you but more success for them in the long run.
     
  4. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I always figured timing the tests was to reduce reliance on strategies such as drawing manipulatives and to instead encourage memorization. You can be doing plenty of repetition, but if they're drawing little groups of sticks to represent 3*4 and then counting them every time, they're not really making optimal use of their practice.

    40 questions in 2 minutes does not sound like 2 seconds per question, it sounds like 3 seconds per question.

    I think my second-grade sons' teacher use a certain amount of time but just let the students finish as many as they can. Though I think the other kids in the class are mostly doing addition; he's the only one doing multiplication. It definitely takes him less than 2 seconds on average to do a computation (I think his record is something like 50 questions in 57 seconds). He also practices every single day at home, doing at least 100 computations per day since kindergarten.

    Yeah, I guess I'd have to say I think you should challenge them a bit more. Some kids respond well to it. Just try to make sure that those who don't, don't fall into a feeling that they should give up.
     
  5. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I teach second grade and allow 3 minutes for 60 questions. Now it is addition sums 11-18, but later in the school year we will do multiplication and the timing will be the same. I know they have enough time if they have memorized the answers, as they should. There is not enough time if they are having to work out the answers.
     
  6. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    My second graders are currently taking a 100 addition fact test. They are given a maximum time of 5 minutes. Almost all finish in the allotted time and then begin work on a second sheet. Their incentive is to beat the number of problems they do each time. They keep a personal graph to show the progress they make each time. They love to see their progress.
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 10, 2011

    I think that 2-3 seconds a question is pretty average. If the students can get there, it will really help them out later in sixth grade.

    I also use the complete more than last time. You might not pass, but increasing the number correct is very motivating for the students.
     
  8. ajd5160

    ajd5160 Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I apologize, it was 40 questions in 80 seconds not 2 minutes.

    I do like the suggestion the students increasing their number versus a pass/fail test. In my nephews case it is pass fail.
     
  9. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    Jan 11, 2011

    We use this website http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/Mathmagician/cathymath.html. If they can't pass on the computer after working on it all week, I give them a written test. The written test is 30 questions in 2 minutes. I also allow them to go back and pass the test throughout the quarter for a grade and throughout the year for a sticker on the chart.
     
  10. renmew

    renmew Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I love this way and used to do it, too. But, school-wide, students were not learning their facts and so we had to create a way to make it something the parents would take seriously enough to practice for. Now that the kids are graded for report card purposes, they are finally studying for it.

    I miss the old way, personally, but scores have improved dramatically the new way.
     
  11. alschoolteacher

    alschoolteacher Companion

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    We used to do practice only tests first semester, then start grading 2nd semester, but the students wouldn't study for the tests until they were graded.
     
  12. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I did 20 questions in 1 minute for multiplication. They need to be memorizing the facts, so I would not give longer than that.

    But my kids also did 50 in a minute timed tests (so obviously 50 problems) in one minute. Those started with addition, moved to subtraction, then multiplication, and last division.
     
  13. H2H

    H2H Rookie

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    Jan 12, 2011

    I taught third a couple years ago and if I remember correctly we gave the kids 5 minutes to do 100 problems and the "passing" rate (98% accuracy) was decent but certainly not everyone made it. The most important thing here is not completing the page, but showing growth on a consistent basis without the students getting frustrated. I always used a reward system for growth rather than completion so all students felt successful regardless of their level.
     

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