How much time for multiplication timed test??

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by SchoolRocks, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Hi! Happy Friday :D I should know this, but working with lower el- I don't :eek: For multiplication time tests- Is there a rule for how long students get? If there are 40 facts- how long is appropriate? Is there a rule of thumb? Thanks!
     
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  3. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    We do 100 facts in 3 min.
    For practice, I do 40 facts everyday and the students have 1 min.
    I think they are called rocket math and they get progressively more difficult and build on previous skills.
     
  4. Elena5

    Elena5 Rookie

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    I give my class 5 minutes to answer 100 facts.
     
  5. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Our school does 6 minutes for 100 facts (3rd) and 5 minutes for 100 facts (4&5).

    You might give 2 1/2 minutes for 40 problems?
     
  6. stevesgirl

    stevesgirl Companion

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    Our school uses Rocket Math, which allows the students one minute to complete 40 problems.
     
  7. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Thanks- this helps- The topic of timed tests have come up and I had NO CLUE! :eek: So thanks again!
     
  8. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    You are teaching multiplication in kindergarten?
     
  9. branwik1

    branwik1 Guest

    Aug 17, 2016

    to be better in multiplication travel my Aztekium App :)
    Very helpful for children!
    Aztekium.pl/Master
     
  10. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I've read some research that is unfavorable towards timed tests. Often students are unsuccessful due to various brain differences, not due to a lack of studying. I was in a workshop once where the teachers asked the leader of the workshop why students do timed tests. The leader said, "I don't know." No teacher had an answer, either, except that it was required by the school. My thoughts: as a student becomes more proficient and automatic in recalling the facts, the speed will develop naturally in most cases. I often allude school learning to riding a bike--once a kid masters the skill of bike riding, s/he doesn't continue to ride slowly and wobbly. And no one has to time and give a grade on how fast they pedal. If timed tests are given in arithmetic, I wonder if it's better to set a timer on the Smartboard or overhead and let the students time themselves, then try to beat their time on the next test.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I've done a lot of math reading this summer and just finished Jo Boaler's book Mathematical Mindsets. One of the things that really stood out for me is that, often, we equate speed with being successful in math, while the two are not not related. For many students, timed activities may increase their anxiety, which will impact their performance. In my opinion, it's far more important for students to be able to demonstrate their understanding thoughtfully, not necessarily quickly.
     
  12. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    This x1000!!!! I will say, as a student who struggled with math-- I'm diagnosed dyscalculia -- time was the ENEMY! I hated those stupid tests & know my students do as well. You give it out thinking, "Oh they can get X done in Y time, right?" But when you struggle with math, you look at the sheet and it looks like it goes on FOREVER and then will either A) cheat, B) write down random numbers to finish/ stay with the others, C) get stuck on the first row and struggle, D) "go to the bathroom"- -or some other excuse ('oh my pencil broke'), or E) just shut down & refuse to do it anyway. "I don't care." I've seen it ALL and recognize the behavior in my students because I've done them myself. Have I done timed tests? Sure! But only as an activity, I didn't actually use their scores for a "grade", merely to see where they were in the facts. To assess students, I'd sit one-on-one with them and have them tell me the facts or complete the multiplication wrap and use that data to form intervention groups. I taught math interventions and had the lowest group... these kids struggled to skip count by 2... there's no way I was going to torture them with timed tests all the time. I did them occasionally, but did a lot of group work/ time drills for engagement and competition. They'd send the math fact sheet down the group and back and see how many they could do -- correctly-- in a minute. I'd also play a lot of games with them too to really associate math facts with GOOD feelings & fun. I also associated math facts with TIMED TESTS, which I sucked at, and never really mastered them, and then of course, I struggled all through MS/HS.


    If you are going to test their facts, keep it short and fact specific to at least help the struggling kids. "OK guys today I'm only going to test you on the 2's and 3's to see where you are." This helps because then they'll start to see the commutative property.
    "But I don't know the 7's. 7x2?"
    "BUT you do know the 2's. What is 2x7?"
    For kids, a lot of them see that, shut down and fail to realize they can simply turn it around.
    And what I used to do on those "timed test" activities-- we HAD to DMS in my District, ugh-- was allow the students to preview the test first and use a highlighter to select the ones they KNEW and complete those first. Because it's horrible when a student only has, say 10 done, because he struggled with those when he could have skipped around and saw that he actually knew a lot more. Those timed tests really make kids with low math skills / self-esteem feel like absolute garbage.

    Just sayin'.
    :)
     
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  13. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Timed math tests made me hate math all through elementary school. I always made B's in math because I could not remember my facts. I could model long division, and do basic algebra, but scored poorly on all of my timed tests! When I taught elementary I didn't do them at all.
     
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  14. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Several years ago, I did them for about a month because of pressure from admin and from grade partners. After observing my students, I rebelled and quietly stopped. I found that they really didn't give me any information about math ability, just ability to memorize and recall.
     
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  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Exactly! I feel the need to add that we did do Multiplication Rap or some whole-body multiplication fact review exercise, or practice our facts in shaving cream or some fact review every day. I just didn't put any stress or focus on time. Some of the games we played did, but it didn't impact a student's grade. They were "just for fun." (Of course, teachers know that what the kids think is "just for fun" are valuable learning experiences.)
     
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  16. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Timed tests, just like flashcards, are designed for fluency of facts students already know. They are one of the most misused practices. For kids who struggle, give them all the time they need. I would include a lot of accurate repetition in class. Have those kids who know their facts cold move on to something else, but those who don't work on recitation and accurate production using multiplication tables.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I give them as much time as they need on a 100 problem 'assessment' Students know they can set goals regarding increasing the number correct or working on fluency (speed). I use it more to notify parents than for a 'grade'. And I only give it one after we've spent a lot of time on all the 'facts'.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    With a focus on making sure they understand the concept. Rhyming off facts without a conceptual understanding doesn't help. I had a student last year in grade 7 who had fairly significant LDs in a few areas. The Special Ed teacher had spent much of the previous 2 years drilling multiplication facts, and he knew them cold; he was one of the quickest I've seen. However, he had no concept of what 6 x 9 meant or how he could apply those facts.
     
  19. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    We had to do Daily Math Skills (DMS) which was this HORRIBLE exercise in math fluency. As a class each student got a score and we had to get an average score of 50 ( I think or more?) to move onto the next "level," of more facts. If we didn't we had to keep staying on the same level and doing the same kinds of problems. The kids who struggled felt bad because they held us back, and the kids who excelled were bored obviously because they were ready to go. We had it scheduled for 30 minutes and it was very scripted. I never did. :rolleyes: Oops! I used that as an opportunity to really drill the facts. We still did the DMS I just did it differently and hid under the radar. "Shut your door." However, one teacher -- who was under the admin's watchful eye -- had the coach in her room when she did it, didn't follow the script and then got a passive-aggressive note about "Remember to follow the script, it's been proven effective... blah blah.." And we got a whole school email to the like. EVERY teacher struggled with DMS so it wasn't just like I was sucking at teaching it. Some classes stayed on the same level all year and others barely progressed. It was all just more data for the District at the expense of the students and valuable classroom time.
    :mad:
     
  20. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Absolutely. I didn't mean to imply for a second that conceptual understanding wasn't incredibly important. I didn't mention that because I just assumed that was part of on-going instruction.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Leaborb, that is horrible.
     
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  22. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    I only wish it was with everyone!
     
  23. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    It was SO STUPID! And sadly, some teachers followed right along so the District was diluted into thinking "it worked. Our teachers do it". EFF that! A lot of my personal confidants cheated the system just like I did. I wasn't trying to be a defiant rebel; I honestly just didn't see how it helped my kids at all. And it was a huge waste of time. 30 minutes EVERY DAY reading the script from the binder. "It worked" in some district (*cough* Vail School District *cough*) in AZ so ours adopted it. :roll:
    :mad::down:
     
  24. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This article showed up in my Twitter feed this morning--some interesting thoughts.
     
  25. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    It's funny: as someone who got a math degree, K-12 math ed cert, as well as what I'm using mostly right now - my K-8, you'd think I'd fall exactly along with the comments so far...and to some extent, I do, but with some slight differences:

    I agree that sole focus on speed and memorization is not effective or a good idea. That being said, I currently - though it really began because my other colleagues were doing so as well in my first two years - do a quick math facts assessment at the beginning of each month. My discussion with the students (always 100% transparent and honest as possible) focuses around the fact that this doesn't define them, but helps see whether the facts are easily available in their minds. In talking with parents, my discussion is all around how it isn't the end-all kind of assessment, but that facts being readily available is important for freeing up the mind to work on the other concepts and reduce computational mistakes. Honestly, half the class tends to get up to 100 (in 5 minutes) within the first couple assessments, and about half of the rest tend to slowly work their way up, but I don't really need to do a ton of intervention because they constantly show growth through our curriculum work / a little bit of practice. The last fourth of the class tends to be the ones I work with a bit more - and we'll focus on strategies such as 8x9 - doing 8x10 and subtracting 8 or doing 8x8 and adding 8 (or 4x9 ... x2), etc...

    I have a vast variety of materials for them to practice with: worksheets focusing on one fact, worksheets focusing on mixtures of facts (I tell them to avoid this unless they're just needing to work on accessing it quicker, and really then, it usually comes without much practice), playing cards, white-erase booklet that has one set of facts (x1, x2, etc...) on each page in random order, flash cards, Xtramath.org accounts, and much more. In the end, there's not a ton of focus on it, and I haven't found or seen much of any negative feedback from the kids, especially since it's just a once-a-month kind of thing to see where we're at. It probably helps too that I'm extremely positive / driving confidence with the mathematics work, so it doesn't come off as a "stressful" "timed" kind of test.

    Separate of my team, I started utilizing it as an opportunity to work on growth mindset: students have a graph for multiplication and a graph for division facts, and they graph each month where they are at, as well as reflect on what practice might help them (struggling with x5s? With x8/x9? Know them all but it just takes a while?). Similarly, as a class, we have two bigger graphs where we track the average for the class - discussion again is all around trying to make it grow, and there's no pointing out of individual students within it.

    I'm in the process of reading a book by Jo Boaler, one of my favorite people in education, and I'm sure that will change my thinking a bit - but I feel like I've found a relatively happy medium for the time being.
     
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