Timed Multiplication Tests...

Discussion in 'Fourth Grade' started by Ms.Jasztal, Sep 18, 2007.

1. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Sep 18, 2007

I give lots of multiplication practice, yet timed doesn't work for all for my extra assistance math class. It also didn't work for all when I taught advanced math- some were more cautious, and that was ok. If I do give it to my current class, they have five minutes for about 50 problems, and I then correct, yet I do not hold the score against them.

However, what's your take on it? I've heard different opinions on how it works versus how it hasn't for some kids. Do you take it for a grade? If so, how much?

3. TeachyBonRookie

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Sep 18, 2007

I have "Multiplication Mondays". I'm required to track their progress by our school improvement plans. I think that one of the best ways to improve on muliplication is drill work. We do the 100 problem test every Monday, and they can earn a sticker if they improve by 5 or more from the previous week. We start at 5 minutes, and I reduce the time through the year. In addition to completing the tests, they also correct each others, so we go over the facts out loud each week. One student reads the problems, they say the answer and just circle problems that have been marked incorrectly. The whole process takes maybe 15 minutes out of my whole week - not too bad!

Hope this makes sense! I like my system I've developed, let me know if I haven't explained it clearly (I'm tired!)

4. cmwGroupie

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Sep 18, 2007

When I taught 4th we did timed tests. My system involved a lot of paperwork but I think it really worked for the kids.
I had like 12 different tests addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I would not give a time limit. WHat I did was write the time on the board. As students finished they wrote their time on their paper. Then they quietly worked until all were done. I gave up to 10 minutes or so. Then when I graded them they had to get a certain score (80% I think) in 5 minutes to be able to move onto the next test. If they did not, they had to correct what they missed and would just retake the test. So each week I'd have kids on many different levels. This way they were still practicing their facts and taking timed tests, but there was not that pressure that I felt in school! I do think the facts are important. It is a life skill we use getting gas and at the store.

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Sep 18, 2007

We don't do timed tests. Our math curriculum "Investigations" is more based on the process and strategies used to find the product than the answer. We did just do a 30 question assessment. This is how my grade level handled it:

I set the timer for ten minutes and told my class to answer the problems that they "just knew" first (we had been working on just know combinations and combinations that we are working on). After the timer went off I had them circle the problems they had left and then continue answering them until they had completed the sheet.

I really liked this approach, very quickly I could see what combinations we still needed to work with. You have to think about why you are giving the assessment-what do you really want to know about your students? I wanted to know if they could solve or apply strategies to multiplication problems not the quantity of problems answered in a given amount of time.

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Sep 18, 2007

I don't make them finish in a certain amount of time. We do the practice a couple of times a week. I actually give them a sheet of 100 problems and they have unlimited time to work on it, but most finish as quickly as possible, because there are games to play when they finish (more fact practice.) This is new for me this year, so I will see how it works. I have never done time tests, but have had the kids time themselves and keep track of their improvement. (Either as hw with a parent or at school with a partner.)

I use Investigations also. There is not much time within the program for fact practice.

7. sue35Habitué

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Sep 18, 2007

I have never recorded timed tests. There are some students that can't handle that pressure. What I do is keep track of each child's progress. I make a big deal of improving scores and that it doesn't matter what others got, just whether you have improved.

If they are not improving I send a note home to the parents to practice math facts with their child at home.

I saw my head teacher do this when I was student teaching and the kids grew to love the timed tests. I then did it with my students and the same thing happened.

8. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Sep 19, 2007

I don't record them, but I think I'll give 5 minutes for the 60-100 problem tests starting next week.

9. Miss StarrCompanion

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Sep 19, 2007

My fourth grade team is contemplating old fashioned whole class sticker chart to motivate kids to master their multiplication tables. We were going to first move through the families (0, 1, 2, 10, 4, 5, 9, 6, 3, 7, 8, 11, 12) and then do mixed sheets. You must complete the previous level before you can move on to the next. Starting out with 30 problems in one minute for each family and moving on to 20 problems mixed, 25 problems mixed, 30 problems mix, etc. And a party at the end.

10. cMcDGroupie

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Sep 19, 2007

I give timed tests, Rocket Math. They have a minute to do 40 problems. All of mine started on A, then when they get all 40 right they move up B, C, D, E, F... After they conquer multiplication we move up to division I believe. I don't record them as grades but I watch to see who is struggling so I can let the parents know to practice the facts with them.

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Sep 19, 2007

I also do timed tests daily, but not for a grade. I believe that the kids must know their basic facts quickly or will struggle with more complicated math in the next few years because they are concentrating on figuring the basic facts. I do the Mad Minutes, but give 90 seconds for them to finish 30-50 problems. I started with 40 addition, then 40 subtraction, and many are in the 30 multiplication right now. I just move them to the mext level as they complete the previous one. I do have a few that are not successful (transfers from other schools), so they are receiving extra drill at home to "catch them up". I give tickets daily for those who pass and also 1-2 times a week for beating the previous day's score. (Tickets are for a weekly "goodie" drawing.)

To answer your original question, yes, I think it works for most kids. If they are doing any drill at home you will see improvement for the majority. Focus should always be on improvement, not competition.

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Sep 21, 2007

If all your students are on different levels how do you keep track of where they are at and what worksheet they are doing??? I'm currently student teaching and the students in my class are really struggling with their facts...

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Sep 21, 2007

When I do this, I have all my sheets filed in order. I have many copies of each sheet in the files. When a child finishes one sheet, I just pull the next one out of the file. I use expanding files, and have one for each subject. They can get them out if they are on the same one for a long time, or sometimes they grab a few for extra practice.

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Sep 21, 2007

I do the same thing. I have a large box with copies of all the pages. I also have a sticker chart where I add a sticker when a child passes, so at a glance I know where everyone is.

15. dust bunnyRookie

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Sep 22, 2007

I did a timed skill drill each morning last year. One student could volunteer to lead the class in going over the problems after the time was up. All students were responsible for saying the problem out loud. If they didn't know the answer they at least recited the problem part and listened to the answer. After self correcting the problems, the students charted their results on a line graph that they kept in their desks. I didn't grade the skill drills but praised any improvements. The students were really excited if their line graph moved in an upward direction.

16. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Sep 22, 2007

I LIKE this idea. Thank you.

17. soflgalCompanion

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Oct 14, 2007

Does anyone have a site that I can print them from? I would like to start doing these with my class, for practice.

18. katenarCohort

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Oct 14, 2007

Success with the timed test!

Funny that you mention timed tests because I just changed mine up last week. I do 4 tests per week (one per Mon - Thurs) - one for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. However, I do NOT count them as a part of the student's math grade. It is just for practice but I do keep their scores so we can refer back to them.

I have 2 different sheets for each of the operations with 100 problems on each. For addition and multiplication they get 2 minutes and for subtraction and division they get 3 minutes. When I started this a few weeks ago the kids scores were so low. And I walked around and noticed many of them getting stumped on one and wasting time trying to figure it out and the pressure was getting to them. I had one boy in particular that absolutely HATED these tests. :dunno:

So this past week I had a long talk with my class on Monday about setting goals for themselves and they discussed how they felt pressured to get all 100. So I had each student set a realistic goal for themselves and try to reach it. I said I don't expect them to get all 100 but I do want them to reach for the goal they set and perhaps increase by a couple each time. We took the test and honestly the results were unbelievable compared to what they had scored before. My one little guy who hates them went from a 13 on division to 34. He said it was easier because he was trying to work towards his goal of 25 instead of the whole 100. So everyday last week we did a different timed tests and the kids were reaching their goals that they set and scoring better than they had previously. I would have each student read the number correct they got and would tell them what they had before. Without me even prompting my kids started to congratulate each other and cheer. :2up: Even the kids who perhaps went down by 1-4 were still positively motivated by their classmates with a "Don't worry you'll get it next time".

On Wednesday when the students did multiplication so many of them were disappointed with their scores and didn't reach their goal. So I had a pep talk with the class and we talked about how our mind frame affects us in life and I had them repeat after me "I can do better!!!". So we retook the test and it was just amazing. they again doubled their scores.

The best part besides the students doubling their scores was that the boy who HATED these tests kept asking if we could do another one. :woot:

19. katenarCohort

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Oct 14, 2007

Mine came from my math book (Saxon) but I searched online and found this site. http://themathworksheetsite.com/ If you click on the 5 minute drill it will give you a sheet.

20. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Oct 14, 2007

Oh, cool! Very good success story, Katenar.

21. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Oct 14, 2007

Also, this is a very nice site. Thanks for the recommendation.

22. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Oct 15, 2007

I am doing the five-minute addition drill with my extra assistance math tomorrow! They're going to set their own goals. I have an issue with kids counting on their fingers and skip counting in multiplication.

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Oct 16, 2007

This year I stopped doing the timed tests. I had planned on not doing them anyway, but a new parent to our school LEFT their last school because of stress due to time tests.... since we are a small private school, and rarely get new students at 3rd grade, it really made me think about it. I don't want kids stressing out. It was probably the way her teacher did it though, because it sounds like most of you make it fun.

So here is what I've been doing. I started out giving them sheets from http://www.math-drills.com/ I started with subtraction, because I know all my kids (3rd and 4th) are not fluent in subtraction facts. Some aren't fluent in addition either- but I'll do it later. I did multiplication last year with my 3rd graders (timed tests) so many have it down.

I gave them the 64 problems per sheet page first a few times. Then I started cutting it in half lenth wise, and that made them really happy! Now I print the 100 problem page, and cut it in half, so they are doing 50 problems.

Here is what I noticed. At first, even the 64 problem page would either be done very slowly, or quickly with lots of errors (even my bright 4th graders.) Then the 32 problem pages were done much more quickly, but with some errors, maybe 1-3 on each page. NOW, with 50, they are doing the whole thing, no errors, pretty quickly. The problems get harder as you move up the alphabet on those sheets too.

I'm pleased that it seems to be working well. I am doing it about 3-4 days a week during math.

I think I may give each kid a 3 minute timer, and have them do the sheet, and there will be a box on the top []I finished before the time ran out, []I finished after the time ran out. I have a class set of sand timers. Hopefully this parent won't come to me screaming. She already has emailed, called and had one meeting about other things with me... arg!

**BTW, it's MY fault they don't know the addition/subtraction because I had them as 3rd graders. I didn't start time tests last year until we did multiplication. I kept telling the parents to practice +/- at home, and know they didn't do it. This year I have to go back and make sure they are fluent in all their facts. The second grade teacher did it with them, I think they were doing strategies: doubles, tens, add 1 up or down, etc. They weren't going for speed.

24. cmwGroupie

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Oct 16, 2007

Sounds like she'll come to you no matter what I taught in a private school and parents thought they ran the room since they paid tuition.

25. Ms.JasztalMaven

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Oct 16, 2007

I gave a timed addition test of 50 problems for 5 minutes in my math class today. Some answered 20 problems... some answered close to 50 or even finished. I was good with it. They were grinning like fools, knowing they "met their goal". Hehehe.

I told them we're going to start the multiplication- and that we're using it to make personal goal charts. They were still smiling (I love the enthusiasm of LD students sometimes because they are pleased with little steps they take)- and willing to try their challenge. They were like, "You're starting a file on me!?" (when I told them they are going at their own pace) I think they're going to have fun.