Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: May 21-25

SOLs Covered: All Math 6 SOLs
Math Dictionary Sections: All Sections of the MD
Upcoming Assessments: Math 6 SOL Test (Block 1 Thurs. 5/31, Block 2 Fri. 6/1, Block 4 Mon. 6/4)

This week's summary will be "short and sweet" as I'm not feeling up to pare today, so I apologize in advance for the brevity.  The entire week was spent reviewing for the state-mandated SOL testing.   As the school system has been informed all year, it is expected that the level of rigor (a.k.a. difficulty) will be drastically increased on this year's math tests.  It is a bit of a guessing game when it comes to exactly how complicated the questions will be or how things will be asked, but we have been trying to prepare for just about anything.  Thus we've spent a lot of time trick-or-treating through the county's simulation test as well as our other review materials.

The trick portion of our review revolves around finding all of the hidden complications embedded throughout the test: complicated wording, flip-flopping numbers, vocabulary terms, multiple steps/parts, etc.  The treat portion consisted of all the ways to get around the tricks: translating the wording (ex. "wrapping a rectangular box" should be a question dealing with surface area), highlighting the important information/numbers and crossing out the unnecessary (ex. ratio problems that name parts of a whole but question one part to a different part), nailing down vocabulary (ex. balance point is another way of saying mean), breaking down the steps/parts (ex. determining the type of probability for a given situation involving two events, finding the probability of each separate event, then calculating to find the overall probability).

The MSA is the Maryland School Assessment, equivalent to VA's SOL state test.

At the end of the week, students received a set of SOL flashcards to further help in the treat side of things; they should study and memorize the information on the cards, which are essentially a condensed version of the Math Dictionary.  Testing for my class starts next week, so study hard over the long holiday weekend and come prepared next week with all of your last minute questions.  Feel free to email any questions over the weekend as well, but remember you can probably find quick answers in the Math Dictionary, the class YouTube channel, the class SlideShare, or the sites bookmarked on the class Portaportal.

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