Friday, May 1, 2015

The Good, The Bad and A Moment

Image result for good and bad pictures

It's been a pretty tough couple of weeks.  It is testing season.  State testing happened the last two weeks and that is always a balance of the happy you are going to do great and the is this over yet.  I love seeing kids step up and really do the best they can and then am disappointed in seeing perfectly capable students not put forth any effort.  This was the first official year of the "new" test.  All online, adaptive and new types of scores.  Who knows what the future will hold for these scores, these kids and these tests.  Only time will tell.

During #msmathchat this week we talked about keeping kids motivated and productive during testing season.  It has been tough, but it kind of amazes me how well they power through.

Some things for me to remember:

  • Testing season starts too early for us
    • The state window for 3-8 this year was 12 weeks starting after 66% of the school year.
    • We finished testing with 4 weeks left in school
    • We finished the prescribed curriculum before testing and it felt WAY too fast.
  • Let's consider moving testing back 3 weeks
    • Slow down the curriculum
    • Add in more activities, 3acts, hands on
    • We have the time, why not using
There definitely was a stand out moment from today.  We have been using @mr_stadel's Estimation 180  since the beginning of the year.  Students have gradually become better with their estimations and their explanations.  Today took the cake.  The task was to decide the value of money to create the image of a dollar sing using quarters (See Task).  We have been doing these tasks as table groups and a random student from each group will tell their estimate and their rationale.  One group really wowed me today.  Their estimation was close ($25), but their rationale was excellent.  They were able to justify each and every quarter they believed would make the figure.  I will sometimes prompt them for more information, but not this time.  They were on fire!!!  I literally sat back in my chair and just enjoyed the moment.  Most all of them love estimation, some are better at it than others, some try harder than others, but today had a moment.