EEEK! 90% or more will FAIL my math test

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Pi-R-Squared, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Jan 29, 2014

    OK, the topic is solving systems of linear equations. This is 8th grade pre-algebra. I believe that, of the 90 students I have, only 6-9 kids will do well (i.e. 90 or above). The rest will have ZERO CLUE and will score anywhere from ZERO to under 40. This topic is apparently very difficult for my kids (they are generally weak in math anyways). I'm highly considering throwing out the tests (but keeping the good scores). As of now, I am in class giving the test and nearly all of the students have already stopped doing anything and just stare into space... I've failed them in this lesson and don't see how I can rescue the kids and my own teaching! :help:
     
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  3. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Jan 29, 2014

    Don't despair! It happens to everyone. Wait until you get the tests and then evaluate which questions were the ones giving everyone trouble. Assess how well you feel you taught the standards those questions addressed. Did you do any kind of set of quizzes or formal assessments prior to the test? If so, did those indicate that students were approaching mastery and were ready for the test? If the students did do well on those assessments... was your test formatted in a different way than the students were prepared for? Was the test far more difficult than any practice in class?

    I have had this happen before where I gave a test simply because I had it scheduled and it was time for the test. However, many of my students weren't ready for it, and I saw that clearly when I had the test results. I would be upfront with the students that you understand why the test had gone so poorly for them, and then clearly lay out what you are going to do to help them master this material.

    It is really hard not to take it personally when almost everyone fails, but it is a good learning moment for you as a teacher. I know when this happened to me I felt very defeated, but then I really analyzed my test. I realized that the wording on my test did not match the way I had assessed in class. Some of the questions were missed by almost everyone, so I knew clearly those standards I needed to reteach. With that information in mind, I did reteaching and created what I felt was a much more valid test. Second time around was a great success. Don't give up!
     
  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    Jan 29, 2014

    I believe the test is valid. Basically, I took their study guide and changed the numbers. The unfortunate reality is that their abilities do not match the grade level. I'm sure I'm not the only person who has complained about students in math classes who don't belong there. Now, I'm strongly considering just dumping the test, reteaching, and hopefully they will get it the second time around. What I need to figure out is how to keep the GOOD scores. There will be A's and A+'s in the batch of F's. The test scores will be 90s or 20s. A hit-or-miss test that tells me that those who mastered the worksheet during review will do well. Those who copied during groupwork failed and those who didn't do anything but take up space in the classroom will also fail.
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Jan 29, 2014

    Make it where you will give 2 tests (this one, reteach and have another test) and the lowest score will be dropped.
    You can also say that if someone has at least a 90, they don't have to retake the test unless they want to. Of course you can change that to 80 or whatever.

    This way the kids will have a better chance of at least having a passing grade, and those who get it are not punished by retaking the test.
     

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