Q&A #6497

Math assessment

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From: Jeanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jun 15, 2001 at 02:53:26
Subject: Re: Math assessment

Hello Shannon, I agree with Ralph in that one way to improve students' success with the short and extended response section is to give them more practice with these types of questions and that there are several good resources commercially available. I'd like to share some of the things members of my department and I do in preparation for our state exams, which we have begun to do in conjunction with learning mathematical content. Released NY Regents Exams are available to download from the following site: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/testing/regents.htm http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/regentsexams.htm We use questions from these exams (even though we do not teach in New York) for warm-ups, tests and quizzes. I tell the students these are practice questions for our state test. Sometimes the questions I choose are for review purposes. Sometimes the questions test a concept we just covered. My chapter/unit assessments are cumulative. That is, the chapter three test has questions from topics introduced in chapters one, and two and "state test questions." This way they get used to being asked to do problems that aren't so fresh in their memory. (Note: Daily assignments also have review problems.) When the state testing dates near, we give "practice state tests". We give the grading rubric to the students to grade other students' tests. Then we discuss the rubric so that they know what is expected of them. We spend a great deal of time working on problems that ask them to justify or explain their answer or their process. These take a long time to nurture. Many of our students in our lower level classes also do not read at grade level. Therefore, we discuss the directions on the test and the wording of problems to make sure that they understand the prompts. Two members of my department have gone so far as to share our practice state tests (we wrote our own) with the reading teacher so that the students can get more help in understanding what they are being asked to do. Hope this helps. -Jeanne, for the T2T service

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