We've been using the PARCC practice test to practice for the upcoming math test.
Problem by problem we've been analyzing questions, making models, and practicing responses.
The explicit teaching is a bit dull, but productive, as we navigate each problem, trying out online tools, and thinking about ways students can use the scrap paper to organize their thinking and find answers. I continue to favor the depth the new common core standards create for learning at the fifth grade level, and I know that the teaching related to the tests will improve as we incorporate successful, blended units of study for each standards-base content area.
The practice problems vary in format, needed thinking, and math skill, knowledge, and concept.
If our State continues to use PARCC next year, I'll think about how we can employ more of these question types into our typical math units and formative assessments. I did a bit of that this year, but not enough as the problems were new.
It's also likely that some of these question types will be short-lived as some of the practice questions seem ill-fitted for young minds and mathematical understanding. Time will tell in this regard.
The PARCC journey continues.
Next week we'll begin the tests. I'm not allowed to look at the questions or report on that process, but hopefully, sooner than later in the year, I'll be able to analyze the published results and look carefully at the published questions asked to help me prepare for next year's teaching/learning expectations and goals.