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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Math Path: March/April 2015

It's time to re-look at the math path as we enter the last three months of the year.  What's important?

No matter how one feels about standardized tests, the tests are here and students are expected to be prepared for the assessments. In two weeks students will take the PARCC Performance Based Assessment (PBA) tests and then in May they'll take the End of Year (EOY) PARCC test. That's four PARCC math tests.

The preparation will include the following:
  • Taking the official math practice test.
  • Reviewing the questions and format of the online practice test with students.
  • Deepening students' understanding of the end-of-year standards such as fraction computation, line graphs, and polygon properties.
  • Reviewing all content taught this year with a large number of online and offline learning activities.
Systemwide Math Assessment
Our fifth grade students also take a system-wide assessment that reviews the year's learning. To prepare students for doing their best on this test, we'll do a lot of practice and review of past concepts, skills, and knowledge.

Computation Proficiency
Both the system-wide test and PARCC require accuracy and precision with large number computation. The only way to assure students' skill in that area is to provide steady practice so we'll continue to practice large number computation in a number of ways.

Math Depth and Enjoyment
All this test prep and standards-base teaching has to be engaging in order to reach for depth and investment. Hence I'll look for ways to employ the standards of mathematical practice (SMPs) to reach for that depth and engagement in collaborative, empowering ways.

Specific Roll-Out

Core/Enrichment RTI Groups
RTI Tuesdays: Computation Practice and Order of Operations
RTI Wednesdays: Math TED Wednesdays

Test Prep
  • Review of PARCC online practice test. 3/18-3/19
Content Depth
Review concept with PBA, discuss, branch out to practice with meaningful problems, practice. 
  • Review of prime factorization. 3/23
  • Review of simplifying fractions. 3/25
  • Review of finding the common denominator. 3/30
  • Review of adding/subtracting fractions using fraction bars, model making, computation. 3/30
  • Review of area model, fraction multiplication and division. 3/31
  • Review of improper, proper, and mixed fractions. 4/2
  • Problem solving with fractions. 4/6
  • Mixed fraction computation. 4/8
  • Line plots with fractions 4/9
  • Polygon review 4/13
Content Review
  • Review of all content covered with home study and in-class review activities, online practice, and games. 4/20, 4/27, 4/10, 4/14
Marble Maze Days: 4/15-4/16 for Project Completion