We went over the test together this afternoon and reviewed some key items that I think are important to share here so that parents can also be in on the discussion, so to speak.
Some items pertain directly to Math and strategies, others are more general in term of how they relate to test-taking and academic success overall.
This was a great opportunity to talk about what we do well and where we want to go. While this test won't be significant in terms of their overall academic career, my hope is that the conversations we have and the skills my students learn about how to prepare for them will make a life-long difference.
Here's what we covered this afternoon:
- students themselves should be visiting the blog everyday so they can revisit what we've learned and share it with their families
- students should always do the practice test to help them prepare for Math tests
- the study-guides are super-useful; they are designed to help students prepare for the test and identify areas where they may need extra practice
- doing our nightly reading can really help us to understand word problems, so we want to make sure that our reading skills are in tip-top shape
- there can be no talking between students during a test
- words from the question and our No-Excuse List must be spelled correctly
- our Math songs are a big help, let's continue to use them to help us in our work
- we need to work on identifying the clue words that tell us to add or subtract (printable copy of a chart here)
- we cannot use "I solved it in my head" as an appropriate explanation for how we arrived at an answer. We must use Math language and think back to samples we have done in class.
- we must always show our work (a level 4 cannot be given if the work/strategies are not demonstrated)
- our printing must be neat and easy to read, especially our numbers (e.g. "Does my 4 look like a 9?")
- we must remember the "rules" for writing, even when responding to Math questions (e.g. capitals, periods, full sentences)
- we must remember to do the test-checklist to help us be successful
- if we have to add extra lines to an answer, we must use a ruler to do so
- let's continue to use tools such as our hundreds chart, tallies and counters to help us to problem solve
- we make great use of our class time and let's continue to work hard while being mindful of the clock
- we are fantastic at using our whisper-phones to proofread our work and let's continue to do that, especially on tests