I took a look at released math questions from last spring's MCAS tests to see if my students had the teaching and knowledge they needed to correctly answer the questions.
There were many areas we spent considerable time and practice on, and there were some areas we could have practiced a bit more and differently.
For example, I want to integrate metric measurement early in the year this year with our place value and decimal units. I want to use the project that leads students in using metric measurements to make a map. It's a great project that my sister's school uses, and it's a project that will help students easily answer questions like the one below:
We introduced every standard, however with some we could have instituted more practice, projects, and problem solving to deepen students knowledge and use of the big ideas and concepts. As always students need regular practice with computation to accurately solve the kinds of large number computation problems on the test.
In general, Boaler's book Mindset Mathematics will give us the information we need to deepen students ability to reason and problem solve creatively and accurately. Fidelity to math schedules and our scope and sequence topics will help us to once again introduce and teach all standards.
We're on the right track as far as the tests are concerned, but we can certainly finesse our efforts to make them richer, deeper, enjoyable, and more memorable too. Onward.