Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Math Test Taking Strategies

Do you do math test prep in your classroom?

Should we even bother preparing our students for the math test?




YES! We should focus on preparing students. Do you take a test without studying first? Preparing your students will help them achieve better results. Try one or all of these strategies with your students.

Math Test Taking Strategies


1. Be prepared. 

What is the math test going to cover? What do I need to know to pass? Be ready to take on the math test by studying the material weeks ahead of time.

2. Review early. 

It's never too early to start reviewing for the math test. Review by yourself or with a group. Do a couple questions a day leading up to the big test.

3. Make an outline. 

Prepare your own math test notes outline. List what math concepts you need to know for the test. Add any other information that is important.

4. Take a practice test. 

Before testing day, find a math practice test to take. This will help you know if you are ready or need to review more math skills.

5. Be relaxed. 

Take a moment before the test to take a deep breath. Focus on what you need to accomplish to pass the test.

6. Listen to the teacher. 

Before, during, and after the math test you should be listening to the directions. Ask the teacher to repeat the directions if you didn't hear them.

7. Memory dump. 

List any important information that you want to not forget on the math reference sheet or first page of the math test. This way you won't forget it!

8. Read the directions. 

Carefully read and re-read the test directions. What are they asking? What do you have to do to find the correct answer?

9. Answer all the questions. 

Even if you're short on time, it's important to answer all the questions.

10. Use your time wisely.

If you know how long the math test will take watch the clock and pace yourself. If you're no sure about a question leave it for the end and come back later to answer it.

11. Get plenty of sleep. 

Go to bed early the night before. Get at least eight hours of sleep or the best sleep you can.

12. Eat breakfast and lunch. 

Eat your breakfast and lunch before the math test. It may be in the early morning or early afternoon. Make sure you have eaten ahead of time.

13. Stay hydrated. 

If allowed keep a water bottle by your desk. Make sure you have a drink before the math test.

14. Use the bathroom. 

Go to the bathroom before the math test.

15. Sharpen pencils. 

Make sure you have plenty of new number two sharpened pencils with erases. It's always good to have at least two at your desk just in case.



Learn more about test taking strategies that can improve math test performance. Download the road map for test prep success today!


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    Saturday, February 22, 2020

    Math Test Prep Tips

    How do you prepare your students for the big math test? 

    Do you give students tips for math test prep? 





    Math Test Prep Tips 


    Getting students ready for the end of year test doesn't have to be hard. Prepare your students now. Have a plan in place and watch your students exceed testing expectations. The only way to succeed is with a plan in place. Do you have one? Here are 3 tips for math test prep.

     

    1. Take a Diagnostic Test. 

    Find out what math concepts students know from this baseline assessment. This will give you an overall picture of what they know and don't know. You can strategically plan to reteach and review what students didn't know on the diagnostic test. 



    2. Practice Grade Level Math. 

    Only quality test prep will help your students succeed. If you are not using test prep time to review the big math concepts you are wasting your time. Plan ahead what concepts you will cover.



    3. Demonstrate How to Take a Math Test. 

    Completing a standardized test is not always intuitive. Students need help navigating how to read directions, solve math problems, and where to put their answers. Start by reviewing the grade level reference sheet that students will receive on test day. Look over formulas and measurement conversions. Show students how they can use the reference sheet to help them solve problems.



    Want to help your students earn higher test scores this year? Use these math tips and more to plan to for your students' success. Sign up to access your test prep roadmap today! 




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      Monday, February 17, 2020

      Pi Day Activities for a Pi Day Party

      Ready for Pi Day?

      Planning to celebrate in the classroom?

      Do you want to have a Pi Day Party?




      Pi Day is the perfect day to celebrate math! Students can have fun learning about new math concepts and eat some pie too. Make it a memorable day for your students and try one of these activities!

      Pi Day Activities for a Pi Day Party


      1. Plan a Party 

      Make Pi day a day to remember! Plan a Pi Day party in your classroom. Set up the room with math centers or stations. Get your students moving and making math connections. Whatever you choose for your students to do, make it fun!

      2. Measure Pies

      Make Pi day a hands-on activity day. Use a tape measure or ruler to find the circumference, diameter, or radius of a pie. Have students find the fractions of a pie. Bring in real world applications and watch your students make new connections in math.


      3. Eat Pie

      No Pi day is complete without a pie. Allow students to bring in a pie to share with classmates for extra credit. So many students will rise to the challenge. Who doesn't like to eat pie?



      4. Memorize Pi

      Pi is a very important number. Challenge your students to memorize the digits of Pi. Hold a contest and see who can say the most digits of Pi. 

      5. Try a Pi Day Activity

      Pi day only happens once a year. Make it special with an activity. Have students make a Pi day paper chain, learn about the history of Pi, or make a Pi city with math. Make it engaging with a new activity to challenge students' mathematical thinking!




      Happy Pi Day!

      Saturday, February 15, 2020

      7 Tips for Math Problem Solving

      Do your students need help problem solving?

      Do you want to give your students additional support to solve math word problems?





      Solving math word problems is a skill that needs to be practiced. Let's review tips to help your students overcome obstacles in order to solve the problems.


      Tips for Math Problem Solving


      The following tips for math problem solving are suggestions for aiding your students in answering grade level problems. Try one or all of these tips in your classroom. Watch your students grow into problem solvers and tackle any word problem.

      1. Practice. 

      It's as simple as that. For bell work or class word every day solve at least one word problem together as a class. Model for the students. Show them how to think through solving the problem. It's important to model this skill again and again. Students do not always have this skill. It needs to be practiced daily.

      2. Vocabulary. 

      Do you have a weekly or monthly math word list? This is one of the best vocabulary strategies to implement now. Start today and have your students try four new math terms this week with the vocabulary cards. Have them write the words in a journal or notebook. This is a great deposit of learning. Your students will talk, write and understand more math concepts when they are practicing vocabulary!



      3. Review Errors. 

      Teaching students to review their answers is important. Many students need to practice this self reflection. After students have answered a word problem review it with them. Model the questions they should be asking themselves. Tell students to ask,
      • "Do my answers look right?" 
      • "Does my answer make sense?" 
      • "Did I answer the math question correctly?" 

      4. Master Key Concepts. 

      Do your students know the math concepts to solve a word problem independently? Teaching the concepts before the word problems are given is important. What keywords to look for, what operations to use, and the order of the numbers is imperative.


      5. Understand. 

      Reading a word problem is difficult for students. Do your students understand the basics? Here is a list to review with students.
      • How to read a word problem.  
      • What is the word problem asking you to answer.
      • What operation(s) to use.   

      6. Use Strategies. 

      There are several problem solving math strategies that work. Pick one to start with. Teach your students what the strategy is and how to properly use it.



      7. Applications to Real World

      Make the word problems applicable to the students. Change the names to be students' names in your classroom. Make the problems about your students' everyday lives. Do they go to a favorite fast food restaurant or store. Use the names that they are familiar with and students will enjoy learning math when it applies more to their life.



      Try one of these strategies today! Download the math vocabulary guide and help your students learn new math terms now.


      Free Math Vocabulary Cards

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        Tuesday, February 11, 2020

        Valentine's Day STEM activities for middle school

        Do your students like to make things and be creative in math? 
        How do you have give students time to problem solve in math? 


        Every year different students ask for projects or activities to do in class. This is the first year I have used STEM challenges. I've never used them before. Honestly I didn't know how they worked. Do they work?
        Yes! I have found that there are STEM challenges that work. There are students that love to make and create. They are eager to build and work with other students on STEM challenges.

        STEM Activities for Middle School 

        Students create, implement, and test their designs. The STEM challenges give students objectives to follow and guidelines to stay within. Any student can be successful with these STEM activities. Here are some STEM challenges to try for Valentine's Day. 

        1. Students make a Valentine Card. 

        Involving problem solving and percents students have to create a Valentine's day card. Students design, plan, and test their creations. This is a highly engaging activity for students who like to create and play. 


        2.  Students build a Candy box.

        Students have to build a candy box from algebraic expressions and a design they make. Using algebraic expressions, numerical expressions, and problem solving to make their candy boxes useful for Valentine's day.

        3. Design a Heart Tray.

        Students create a heart tray with area and problem solving. They test their designs to hold enough cookies for Valentine's day.

        4. Construct a Tower.

        This is my favorite STEM challenge. Students make a hearts card tower with volume and problem solving. Highly engaging, lots of fun, and who doesn't like to play with cards? 


        Valentine's Day STEM activities are for students to make connections to math with the STEM process. Students will practice their problem solving skills in many different areas of math. They will enjoy making and learning. 




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          Happy Valentine's Day!