Preparing kids for State Assessment...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by COMrs.S, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I know I'm a thinking ahead a little but...

    I wanted to know how some other teachers prepare their kids for state assessments. Specifically, Math assessments.

    My school uses the Everyday Math program. Last year, my team decided that after Winter Break we would skip around the Lessons and Units to cover what would be on the test in March. Most of the materials were supplemented using other sources besides Everyday Math. Which, as a newer teacher, was hard to do because of the resources that were available to me.

    I'm concerned about a couple of things. First, what about the fidelity of the program? The curriculum is designed to spiral and build on prior knowledge. If lessons are skipped/not taught, won't that hurt the kids in the end? Second, during this time, we did not give any form of tests because we jumped around so much. So, the kids did not get to really "practice" before the big Assessment in March.

    I'm asking all of you for your opinion in what you would do in this situation. Would you:

    A) Keep going with the program, as intended, and a week or two before add in some State Assessment skills and practice

    or

    B) Start jumping around the different lessons and go back to them after the assessment.

    I would really appreciate your feedback! Thanks and have a beautiful day!

    :)
     
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  3. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Dec 17, 2009

    Every morning I would write a new set of five math problems (that were TEKS/TAKS related) on the board. These would be things we had already covered and that I knew the kids needed to continue working on (spiraling). For example, for the grade level I was in last year we would have one 3-digit addition problem, one three-digit subtraction problem, one double-digit multiplication problem, one decimal problem and one fraction problem. If we needed to focus more on one particular operation, we would have more than one problem of that type.

    We called this the "Big 5." The kids would do the problems first thing in the morning and when they had all finished we would go over the problems together, with me working the problems on the board for all to see. Many times the kids would come up to solve the problems on the board as well.

    We did this every single morning, no exceptions. The papers were graded every morning and an average grade assigned for the week.

    This was done in addition to the regular math lesson we worked on every day, and it was a fun and painless way to reinforce prior knowledge. The kids loved it because it was 1uick and short enough to keep them interested.

    It worked!
     
  4. MsT

    MsT Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I am also a third grade teacher who uses EDM. We supplement our math lessons with test prep. Our math specialist makes the kids a booklet of math questions that addresses all of the strands on the state test. I also create questions for the kids to practice during math. We teach the probability unit before the test (around 2-3 weeks prior to the test). That unit is at the end of the year and the kids need to be taught those concepts before the test. EDM is tough to skip around with due to the spiral, but we are able to squeeze it in just fine. Hope this helps!
     
  5. round stanley

    round stanley Companion

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    Dec 17, 2009

    spiral???

    Your principal and parents understand one word and it isn't spiral, it is results. If you know the format and vocabulary of the test questions use that with your students every day. If you have any idea of what percent of the questions are about what math standard, go for the standard that weighs most heavily on the test. In our old text we were supposed to do division right before testing, but there was only one division question on the test, so out went division until after testing.
     
  6. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Dec 17, 2009

    In our district, we go by what is on the state standards, not the math series. So there is some skipping around. Kids do fine.

    I agree with reviewing every day. Just a quick 5-10 minutes of board work that is mixed review. Include some word problems.
     
  7. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I just went to an EM training and some people were skipping around and the lady freaked out! If you use the program correctly - math message as the lesson, journal pages and math boxes, then you cannot skip around because the math boxes spiral. That being said, I supplement a lot. We are working straight through (skipping one unit because it is not in our standards) but we don't exactly conform to the program. We probably should, but that is another story. I taught one lesson this week and then did numbers and ops for the rest of the week because that is what the kids need, not what the book wanted.

    Supposedly, EM has a forum group for exactly these issues, but I cannot access it.

    PS Our school does a full two weeks of test prep before the test!
     
  8. MsT

    MsT Rookie

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    Dec 17, 2009

    It feels so good to hear other criticism of EDM. For a long time I thought it was just me! I teach in a high poverty school and we have to do so much together because it is very challenging! Math is up for adoption right now in my state and many feel that we will adopt it again because administration favors it. Does anyone teach using the newest edition? I saw it at NCTM for third grade. I saw that the print size was bigger in the SRB and journals - but the content seemed the same. Any positive changes?
     
  9. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Actually, my P understands spiraling and, by discussing it with our parents, they understand spiraling as well. We continually review -- otherwise, the kids sometimes forget the material.

    I agree with some of your comments re objective percentages.
     
  10. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Dec 18, 2009

    We have EDM but I don't like it since I would rather focus on specific skills of my choice based on my students. In the spring, I make my own daily warmups that spiral concepts as others mentioned above; I have a wide variety of ability levels in my class, so the warmups have 8-12 problems... usually place value and operations are always included, and I'll throw in probability, hundreds grids, fractions, geometry, etc. During our measurement unit, I'll photocopy a picture of an object or animal and they have to measure it in inches and centimeters. They get about 15-20 minutes to work and we review in 5-10, then move on to our lesson. As long as we do those religiously, I don't need to worry about adding daily test practice and can limit it to our Friday quizzes and problem solving practice.
     
  11. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Dec 18, 2009

    I think for EM to really work, you need everyone on board with it. Trained and committed. At the workshop there was a guy who had been using it for 4 years and had never been trained in it! After taking the training, I have a more positive attitude about it, but it is still not my favorite. To be effective with it you really have to stick with it, play all the games and use your flex day wisely.

    BTW, I have the 2nd edition manual and the kids have 3rd edition workbooks, which makes my life a pain. In the third edition, the first 2 math boxes can be used as an assessment tool because they always relate to the lesson taught, and the last two always relate to the next lesson so that you can get information about the next days lesson before hand.
     
  12. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    Dec 19, 2009



    You are not alone. This program might work for students in suburban middle class areas, but I find that for the urban students I teach, it is not effective in helping them achieve mastery in math.
     

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