We have a 4-day week. Next week is testing. It's not really enough time to get into new material and I feel like I'm supposed to help students review before the test. I don't want to teach to the test, but given that South Dakota does not have released tests I'm not sure it's even possible.
What does make sense is to go through and talk about testing strategies. My students don't seem to have been taught them before, so I'm taking the week to go over the ideas that I learned through all the years of SAT team practice. At least that's the plan.
But today fell flat, so I'm not sure how the rest of the week will play out. I'd love advice from anyone who's not totally off on spring break.
Tried to start off with a bit of discussion about why we're doing this. How these strategies work for any multiple choice test, be it the ones next week, the ACT/SAT for college, or the ASVAB for military. Really, I think I lost them care. Testing is boring and I didn't find a way to make it fun.
When I asked students why we take the tests the most consistent answer was, "So we can see how bad the school is." They know the school is low-achieving, but they fall back on the excuses of being on the reservation. In one typical teenage fashion, they mostly mocked my cheerleading attitude. Alas. Most of that is actually my real personality, so it won't be changed anytime soon.
I decided to start off with the general strategy of eliminating choices to improve your guesses.I put the numbers on the board to show how better guesses can raise your score, next time I'd use a graph to illustrate.
I focused on how you could eliminate options first by working backwards, checking the answers given rather than generating your own. We've just come off of polynomials, first multiplying and then factoring, so the option of working a problem in the order you want seems sold me. Still didn't catch the students.
Most classes perked up a bit when we talked about estimating. I think they felt more comfortable with that idea. Confuses me. I've been talking about checking your work all year long, haven't mentioned estimation before today.
Not a thrilling narrative by any means. The PDF matches, but I've submitted it to I Love Math. I'll toss a link here when it's up.
So yeah. There we go. My first shared lesson, admittedly rough. What do you do to improve it?