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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prepping for PARCC and MCAS in Meaningful Ways

Challenge:
Prepare 44 fifth graders for success on upcoming standardized math tests in meaningful, life enriching ways.

Rationale:
I want my students to do their best on standardized tests, and I'm not alone in that desire. I also want my students to learn in ways that are meaningful and life enriching. So the challenge is to do both.

Timing: We have approximately six weeks until PARCC #1, and twelve weeks until PARCC #2 and MCAS science.

Process:

First Six Weeks: (about 20-30 hours of math teaching)*
  • 10-15 direct hours of math teaching reviewing all math standards. 
  • 10- 15 hours of combined science/math performance assessment-like practice.
  • 12 hours of at-home practice.
Second Six Weeks: (about 20-30 hours of math teaching)*
  • 10-15 direct hours of science investigation/exploration reviewing all science standards.
  • 10-15 hours of combined science/math performance assessment-like practice.
  • 12 hours of at-home practice.
*We have a large number of worthy special events and other standardized tests during this time that take time from direct teaching and practice. 

There's not a lot of time for a lot of standards, but we've studied a lot to date and we'll do our best to meet the schedule above. I'll look for as many ways as I can to make this learning enjoyable, meaningful, and interesting. Onward.