Quick reminders as life is busy right now. Do not forget that the moodle course deadline is coming up on March 18. No entries will be accepted on the 19th. Also, a few of the activities or modules in the online course require outside research or investigation...so please don't wait until the last second or you may not be able to finish. Furthermore, while it is quite admirable that some of you are doing all 15 activities, please read the directions carefully. In some modules you need to make choices as to which activities you want to do...you do NOT need to do all of them. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Since everybody is so busy, I will keep the required discussion topic easy and current.
Discuss a technique that you are using to help your students study for the upcoming STAAR exams. Explain why both you and your students like it or why you like it and use it despite their less than glowing reception.
Remember the rules. Do not discuss the STAAR itself or give opinions on it. We have learned in years past the taboo nature of that topic. Please just talk about what you do and why you think it works or might work.
Good luck and happy posting.
What I have done in my class is we as a class have come up with strategies and have posted them on chart paper and put up in the classroom. As a class we talked about which strategies work for them and why they work. We have also started working on the countdown to STAAR worksheets. This covers all the objectives and have talked about the strategies that will help them with the objectives. We hope to well on this year's test and I hope all students will be successful.:)
Our third grade is doing a STAAR Blitz to take some of the stresses out of testing. They can earn tickets, points, etc however the teacher wishes to reward. They can earn them from getting the right answer, to showing their work, turning in homework, working in teams etc. At the end of each week if they have a certain amount (again up to each individual teacher) they will have snowcones with football players, or ice cream with the HS math team, etc. We are setting these up and it will be over the 4 week period. We think some of these kids who are right there will push themselves just a little bit harder to achieve their goal. We will also be having a pre-pep rally to kick off this 4 week period with some music videos we found online. The Creative Counselor: Rock the Test Pep Rally This is a really cool website with great ideas. We will also be having a big pep rally Monday before testing and this year we have the 1st and 2nd graders cheering us on. All of this along with just reinforcing all of the strategies we have taught all year is what we do to get our 3rd graders ready to take this BIG test 2 days in a row. Happy testing!
We have strategies in place for math, reading, and writing. The students realize the importance of using our strategies in content core areas because of how successful they are when they are implemented. Some of these strategies include sneak peeks in reading, CUPS in writing, and showing all your work in math. Also underlining keyword to help them focus on the question that is being asked of them.
Every day my students complete a math review with skills that we have already covered but may have forgotten. We incorporate strategies for the different skills that we are learning about as well. We will also be administering a benchmark to see where our students are at and decide what interventions are needed.
WE have been working on our problem solving skills and strategies. We spiral word problems and start every day by solving three as a warm-up before we begin our lesson. We have already taken two benchmarks and I want to have the whole week before the tests to just practice and review, but really I'd like to get as many ideas as i can from everyone else. This year my groups are very challenging and I'm going to need all the help I can get to motivate them.
Our students have begun working the Countdown to STAAR review sheets also. It provides a good review of skills covered earlier in the year. Our teachers have incorporated some Singapore math strategies Into the lessons also. Many students are scanning the word problems so another strategy that is being implemented is having them write a solution statement before solving the problem. Then completing the statement after the problem has been solved.
We have been concentrating on different strategies to use and what students should be looking for in a question. We have been trying to turn the questions inside out to make sense of it in a variety of ways possible to be asked. I believe that the students are feeling very good about our studies and are ready to go for April 2....
RE: 2012-2013 5th six Weeks Discussion
SInce I had already covered all the objectives, we used a workbook that covered all the objectives using problem solving skills. We talked about the strategies that would help them with problem solving. The week before we did a quick complete overview of the objectives. I hope my students are successful.
We are practicing our strategies and I'm doing more one on one instruction to really get to those misconceptions that seem to slip by in a large group or even small group instruction. It's been a real struggle this year with very low students but I'm hopeful To at least show significant growth with them.
I have been using the closing the distance book. It is a good review system. I am also using the student's ISN for review. I continue to work in small group with my struggling learners and also using the mathcounts program to engage my students to help their critical thinking skills. We are trying to achieve Silver Level Bryan next week.
My students really understand this year the importance of the STAAR test and seem to be really taking it seriously. Daily we go over all of the strategies that we have learned throughout the year. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!! We also do small group instruction in tutoring twice a week and Saturday school almost every Saturday since February!
The best way to help our students is to teach our TEKS. I try to do this by making math fun and exciting for my students. I really believe if they enjoy it, they will remember it. Using technology and manipulatives help me in achieving this goal for my students. The more I can do to get them to "reason" on their own and use their math skills to problem solve, the better I prepare them for the real world as well as STAAR. We had a math "blitz" before STAAR to incorporate fun activities into skills that the students needed a little reinforcement with. It was a great way to help the students alleviate some anxiety and review at the same time.
I must have forgot this post...I was lost in preparing students for the big test, like everyone else in the teaching world. We have had "Operation STAAR" and have begun to spiral all objectives & build our endurance with the # of questions. We have prepared packets for the students focusing on key objectives & utilizing data to find our strengths and weakness. We have worked in small groups and closed in gaps of individual students. 5th grade has continued to do Saturday school, and 3 days a week in tutoring. We have really pushed our students to the limits & we are confident are hard work will pay off.
At my campus we took 2 benchmarks and the kids did well. We also implemented tutorials after school. We focused on the weakest objectives. We worked on measurement and word problems.
In the classroom I taught the TEKS and kept a learning journal. I had a few students that needed to use more strategies than others. I personally like when my students use what works best for them.
Some of the things we did with our students to help them for the STAAR was to work on strategies with anchor charts. One thing I stressed to them was to make a quick sketch of the problem. All the grade level had rotations that focused on their weak objectives. This helped them get someone else's techniques/strategies on the objective. We had a pep rally where lower classes gave goodie bags with treets and supplies. The students really enjoyed them!
This year I started using Countdown the the Math STAAR created by MathWarm-Ups.com. I gave my students a set amount of time to work as many problems as possible. They would turn their sheet over when they had completed all questions. I would then one by one check their work. I made them work in red pen so that they could not change their answers. After the timer would go off I would pick up all red pens and go over questions they struggled with. Students that had not missed any questions would get on the computer and work through Think Through Math. As this program progressed I started creating student tutorial groups. I would group students who had all missed different problems together. These students would help each other through the questions. By the week before STAAR, I didn't have enough computers for all the students that were not missing questions, I was pulling out Math games for them. What I loved the most about this activity was the engagement and encouragement it had for most students. Also the language. Students were talking like Mathematicians.
I also did Review stations the 7 days prior to STAAR testing. I group students by ability and had them working on lots of word problems. I like group work because it allows me to work with students who are all struggling on the same types of problems at the same time. It also allows the lower students to be come leaders among their peers more often, increasing their confidence.
I have not yet perfected a STAAR Prep program but I am working to be a much better guide for all of my students.
We take a practice STAAR test, based on release questions, about a month before the STAAR Test is given, to see what the students really need to work on. Then, for about 3 weeks before the test, we review all skills and strategies taught this year, focusing on those that are the most difficult for the students. I do a very brief mini lesson on the skill we are reviewing that day. Then, the students work problems on that skill in class. The next day, we grade the work together, going over each skill and the strategy used to solve each problem. Then, I do another mini lesson on the next skill.....and so on. It is very tedious, however, I believe that practice makes perfect! I know that by the time the test rolls around, I have done everything I can do to help my students be successful!
In my Pre-AP class we did a project on the Nspire calculator where they had to take every function we studied this year, find a real world example with data, come up with a problem situation for the data and graph it. They didn't love it at the time, but it was a good review for the STAAR EOC in my opinion. It hit everything we did all year and made them think and problem solve.
On of the thing I used is the Staar Mathematics Chart plus the centimeter paper. I tell my sudents that they can used the centimeter paper for any array, perimeter, area and angles plus they could write notes that they needed to remember of math. I ran a Staar Blitz package for each stuent. It covered Obj. 1-5.
Our 5th grade teachers have been conducting a Staar Blitz where our students move throughout 5 of our 5th grade teachers ; each who is targeting one of the 5 Objectives. Our students earn tickets for correct answers and completed assignments and we have a drawing each week on friday. We did this 3 weeks prior to the Staar test and have done it in previous years with the taks.
My third grade students used Countdown to STAAR, small groups, and focused lessons on particular skills. We took time to recall specific vocabulary and things learned throughout the year. These things were helpful. I looked at the Creative Counselor video as suggested by Bridget and showed it to the students. It lightened things up a bit since this was the first time for the students to test.
At our campus, we implemented afterschool tutorials in January, 2013 to begin working much closer with students who struggled with STAAR testing courses. We worked on strategies (partial product, lattice, 9s rule, 5-Up, repeated addition, etc.) with struggling students with the hope that they would become comfortable, confident and good at using at least one to two strategies. Don't get me wrong, I wanted all students to be familiar with all strategies mentioned above but with different learning skills, etc. that was not going to happen. We taught the strategies with the expectation that their answer would be checked with another type of strategy to ensure completion of solving problem correctly.
We always pick a theme for the campus. We usually have a pep rally. The students set personal goals. We will put the, in the hallway. The class will set goals and rewards if they reach the goals. The campus also sets up a goal and reward trip. The teachers will get shirt with the theme chant on it. Those are the fun things to reward all of the hard classwork and tutorials.
To prepare my students for the STAAR exam, I start from the beginning. We pull out our journals, turn to page one and comb through every concept until we reach the end of our journals. We have open discussions were students can ask questions to myself or other students to clarify an area where they are not strong in. We practice, I preach, they ask questions, we take deep breaths, we play games, take mini assessments, we tutor, we take deep breaths, and then we as a team trust ourselves and beat the STAAR!
We started spiraling questions at the beginning of the year. Students did a self analysis after every test on why they missed questions. After Christmas we started administering our unit test on the computer. Most of my students did not like this and did significantly worse. In the long run I think this really helped since their EOC is online. After covering all the TEKS we reviewed each of the readiness TEKS with 12- 15 EOC type questions each day. Some days we played Bingo or Jeopardy with the questions. One day we played Are You Smarter Than Your Geometry Teacher? Some liked it some didn't, but I think it helped!