I just found out that only 46% of our fourth graders were proficient in math when they took the Ohio Achievement Test this spring!!! I worked so hard to get them to pass and I know I did everything I could. This year's class was particularly low and everytime I taught long division, it was as if they had never seen it before. Many of them also didn't have their multiplication facts memorized which didn't help either. I feel like crying!!!

Keep your head up. As long as you did everything you possibly could, short of taking the test for them, then you've done your part. On the other hand, I know how it is to want your students to achieve. Your reaction to the results show that you are a caring teacher.

That is so frustrating, especially when we are judged by the students' scores. Don't beat yourself up.

Yes they didn't pass but look at were they were last year and the growth they made. That is what you should be focusing on.

I know I have stated this a few times before,but is a shame what education has become today.Teachers give their best effort to see their students improve and the only thing that matters is the test scores at the end of the year.Your could have great discipline,great exciting creative ideas show nice progress in your students work,but if the test scores aren't above standards you are considered a failure.On the other hand you can be a very mediocre teacher with a bright group of children who test well and you are fantastic.(If you cheat enough on the exam and don't get caught you can also be considered fantastic.) Everyone is happy until they eventually find out some children with high test scores really don't know the work. You can't do more than your best. Feel proud of the job you did.

Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words. They mean a lot. I'm trying to turn this into a positive experience and use my summer as a time of reflection so that I can improve my teaching skills next year. I'm going to use as many hands on approaches as I can. Thanks again!

We feel your pain! We ate, slept, and drank math and reading all year..........haven't got scores yet...... but I think about it often!! It's really hard when kids come from all levels and all kinds of environment. I'm in a Title I school - 74% free and reduced lunch. They haven't had those experiences at home. HOWEVER, it doesn't really matter does it. They are ALL children!

We are crying up here in the Cleveland area too. I teach 5th grade, but my scores were the lowest they have ever been. Only 26% of my class passed the math test. What you have said about multiplication facts rings true-in fact, that is one of our districts "goals" this year-to improve their math facts. What math program do you use? That seems to be the underlying "evil" with us. We have yet to find a program that really fits the needs of our students.

You may want to try Rockin' the Standards from Tim Bedley next year- he apparently has some songs that correlate with multiplication/division. Additionally, what kind of technology do you have? You may want to show them some PowerPoints or use an LCD projector to show the animation of a long division problem being solved. It is challenging to teach students when sometimes they are still developing with other skills....

Right now, our district is using Saxon Math, but many of don't like the program because it moves too slow. We have to supplement like crazy in order for the kids to be introduced to everything that is on the OATs. If we followed the book, they wouldn't even get to long division and harder multilication problems until close to the end! I told my asst. principal that next year, I am starting right away with the Buckle Down book which is what we use for OAT prep. I did find out that several of the kids scored between 390-399 so they were sooo close. One of my students who is on an IEP for reading and math scored a 397 on math, reading, and writing!!! I am soooo proud of her even though the numbers say she wasn't proficient.

we use fastmath - I use it with my 1st and 2nd graders for addition/subtraction facts - it does works! It's a drill and game format. they do things when they get high scores - but they only compete against their high scores.

Oklahoma has correlated our state test to meet the state objectives, but it's still a battle every year! We eat, sleep, and drink math facts and sometimes I wonder if they will ever get it1 You are not alone - but that doesn't help much when we all feel like we're drowning does it?

We use Fastt Math, too. Less than a handful of my kids didn't pass (two of them almost made it). It works.

According to prelim. reults it looks like we didn't meet AYP again & we're right outside Cleveland. It's really sad b-c many teachers were so positive about how hard their kids tried. I was a scribe 1 on1 with a student. It was sad to see her trying so hard...having me read items over and over again...but still getting the wrong answer.

I love this idea-I am going to do this! Even in 5th, this is SUCH a hard concept to master. Showing them the steps on PP is something I can do over and over. I love the PP for other concepts too-like using a protractor!!

I experienced the same thing. I am a regular ed teacher, so my special ed worked one on one with a scribe. I saw my 10 students work so hard-the whole 2.5 hours-and I still had really low scores.

Isn't it amazing that the success of the children.teachers. administrators,parents,and probably the sandwiches sold at the corner deli are based on a few tests taken over a two week period.If given a choice between having very high test scores and gangs roaming the building or low test scores but an orderly well controlled school which one do you think most principals would pick?

I hear you Yank7! I also agree that most of us are doing a fantastic job - but nothing will be good enough for legislators making laws about testing - when they probably couldn't pass them either!

iteachm, I don't worry about long division until after the OAT. We definitely work on division, and I show them how to estimate and how to use the possible answers (from multiple choice questions), but I don't the long division itself until later. Two reasons: straight calculations won't be on the test (and the kids would likely get it wrong, anyway!), and it just takes too much classtime that I need for other concepts. We just have way too many standards to cover in math.

I have a little more advice- try to make your math lessons hands-on. Maybe my math website will help- http://teachingvision.org/resources/math.html. Next year, we will have Scott Foresman Investigations, and 90% of our math instruction will be hands-on. It's kind of intimidating right now, though I am ecstatic, too, because I know I would have learned better that way as a child.

I don't have any advice about the curriculum changes, but just some encouragement. The others are right, you are a caring teacher who works hard. I'm sure your dedication and passion will pay off. Just keep thinking about things you could try next year, or what you could do differently. Good luck

I went through the exact same thing with writing. They actually went down! And I used "Best Practices". Ugh. It really gave me a different perspective. I'm not going to give up. I'm going to continue to improve my practice, but try to not stress myself over state testing results. I truly believe there are other factors that go into it. I did a long term sub. position where the students got 99% proficiency in Reading. I believe I am a better teacher now (a few years with my own class) and my kids have scored in the 60s-70s in Reading. We already have 2 hours for Reading and and hour and a half for Writing. There are some things that are just out of your control that affect scores.

I was reading through the posts and wanted to share a teaching strategy I use for long division. It is such a hard concept for 4th graders, ESPECIALLY those that don't have their multiplication facts mastered. My students struggle at the beginning every year, but by the time TAKS rolls around, most of them have it down - and it is tested, so I'm thankful they catch on. First we go through the steps. Does McDonalds Sell Burgers Really.. Divide Multiply Subtract Bring down Repeat/Remainder They set it up next.. Big number in the house.. small number out in the rain with no roof.. (just my little way of helping them set it up right) Before they even begin to start trying to work it out.. they have to write out a number line (this is for everyone at first.. and then most gradually move away from it and some stay with it till the end of the year) lets say the problem is 45/3.. since they're dividing by three their number line looks like so: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 The idea is.. you only work with one place value at a time.. the 4 in the tens place first.. you're looking for a 4.. or as high as you can go without going over 4 on the bottom row.. the highest you can go is 3.. so a 1 gets written on top and a 3 goes under the 4.. follow your steps.. you're left with 15 go to the bottom row .. again you're looking for a 15 or as high as you can go withough going over... there's 15.. so you write a 5 on top and 15 on bottom subtract.. nothing to bring down.. no remainder answer 15.. that actually didn't come out as clear as i wanted and i didn't mean to hijack the thread ::sorry:: .. just thought i'd try to help..