Friday, May 10, 2013

Weekly Class Summary: May 6-10

SOLs Covered: All Math 7
Math Dictionary Sections: All Sections
Upcoming Assessments: SOL Mini Quiz #4 (Tues. 5/14); SOL Mini Quiz #5 (Mon. 5/20)

This will be a quick weekly class summary as I'm busy getting next week's materials together for each student, as will be explained further in a minute.  After taking the the third mini SOL quiz at the beginning of the week, the rest of the week was devoted to taking the county's Math 7 SOL simulation test.  The students started taking the test on paper Tuesday and by Thursday most students had finished the entire test and had time to check over their work.

We were in the lab Friday so that students could input their answers into the county's system.  Since they'd pretty much already finished, they were able to use the extra time to work on their homework, which as previously posted was to complete at least five challenges I'd set up for them on  The students were obviously quite happy to have a bit of time for what they saw as just playing games.  I don't think they all realized they were still reviewing for the SOLs as they played, but I can honestly tell you that today was one of the best days so far in my teaching career!  To see how excited the kids got about the games along with their friendly competition was the best way I could have possibly ended teacher appreciation week!  Seeing their pride at getting high scores (all through the use of their math skills) and hearing them say how much they enjoyed today's class was incredibly rewarding for me.

With the simulation testing completed, I'll start analyzing each student's results.  Since the test cannot be sent home per county guidelines, I’ll be conferencing with each student one-on-one next week to go over their results and at that time will provide a feedback form to add to their SOL review folders highlighting (literally) the questions/topics they missed.  A digital copy of the form has already been uploaded to the usual places (Edline, Edmodo, and here) so that students can use the hyperlinks that go with each question.  The links will take them to videos on that topic along with practice items they can work on to continue their review.

They should be studying/reviewing/working on the items in the SOL review folder at least a little every night to help prepare for the SOL test.  The SOLs are definitely much trickier than they used to be; quite often students make minor mistakes that can sadly have a severe effect on their scores.  Starting with last year's math SOLs, the test is no longer strictly multiple choice, so some questions have more than one right answer and require that all the correct choices be given to get credit.  Most of the questions have multiple steps and do not give any kind of partial credit for getting the first few steps correct.  In class we’re going over all the little “twists and turns” found throughout the test, but the more students review at home as well, the easier the SOL should be.  Tests for my class are scheduled for May 28-30.

So not so short after all I guess, but hopefully helpful.

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