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Saturday, June 27, 2015

MTEL Math Reflections

I took the MTEL Math test, and I was wondering if I would pass or not.

My score reflected my thoughts about math study well.

The area I did the best in, numbers and operations/data and statistics, is an area I spent lots and lots of time delving deep into in the past years as I taught my fourth and fifth graders. This was the area I applied coding to learn math in and multiple models. I was happy to see that this work resulted in depth of understanding as I want to continue to promote this kind of study with students.

Then the areas that I studied a lot using Khan Academy were quite good too. I continue to find Khan Academy an excellent resource for math study and understanding if you use it well. Next year I want to continue to use Khan with students, but I want to even deepen the regularity of use and the way I teach students how to use Khan Academy well for learning. My students who used Khan well this year developed greater depth of math knowledge and application. If you use Khan with your students over the summer, I suggest that you sit down with your child as he/she uses the program. Have a notebook at your side and spend some time talking about best strategy and ways to use the platform for learning depth and success.

The area where I didn't do as well was the open response problem solving. I must say that I was very tired by the end of the test so I didn't give that section a fresh attitude and energy as I should have. I also took the test in the afternoon which isn't as potent a test taking time for me. Further, I didn't apply the strategies that I teach with regard to math open response problem solving which are to use a mental model (graphic organizer) and self regulation strategy development (SRSD) to remember all the steps and answer the question completely. I also had not studied the algebra section of Khan as much or the model exemplars which would have helped. Finally, the question was based on an area of algebra that I don't teach often at the elementary school. Yet this was in my grasp if I had given it deeper thought, study, and preparation, I would have done better.

In the end, the good news is that I passed the test and learned a lot about teaching, test taking, and math study from the process. Now I know what my young colleagues have had to encounter with regard to math as they earn their teaching license. I also have a better idea as to how to help my young students prepare for standardized tests, deep learning, and application.

Passing the test has spurred me forward with enthusiasm for math teaching and learning. I'm looking forward to the study ahead as I prepare for next year's program.