My school's freshman, sophomores, and juniors took the PSAT today. I took the day before to review test taking skills, complete a 25 minute practice test, and then reviewed the answer. It is just as important to know how to take a standardized test as it is to know the material. Especially when 1/4 point is subtracted from your score for each incorrect answer. Layout of the class: 1) Students grabbed the attached article as they entered the classroom, read it, and highlighted key information 2) I answered questions and pointed out key information that was not asked by class 3) Students completed Section 4 of the practice they received in advisement 4) Reviewed answers 5) Answered content questions (not as much time left as I hoped...6 minutes tops) And just to show how some of the math they have learned in the past is relevant...I showed them the expected value of their score if they were to guess on every single problem. (Keep in mind that there are usually 5 answer choices for each question) E(x) = (0.25)(0.8) + (1)(0.2) = (0.2) + (0.2) = 0 So, if you guessed on every single question, you can expect a score of 0. I wanted my students to be able to focus of the content the day of the PSAT and not be worried about the directional instructions of the test. The article I had my students read before starting class is shown below. If you wish to download the document, simply click the "Download" selection. Enjoy!
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I LOVE projects! I love that they are another way to assess students and gives those students who are weak test takers another option to show what they know. What I do not love is those students who choose to not complete any project and therefore hurt their grade even more....anyway.... We have switched our 9th graders in Fulton County to Common Core and the county has given us "blueprints" to walk us through each unit. Each blueprint comes with multiple resources that are appreciated! I came across this Mathemagic activity and turned it into a project for Unit 2. (I did not create this, I simply used it!) Students have to create a "math magic" trick where contestants are asked to choose a number and then operate certain steps on that number to get back to the original number or get to a certain number. A great way to introduce the project is be opening with... 1) Choose any nonnneagtive number... 2) Square your number 3) Multiply the result by 9 4) Take the square root of the result 5) Add 15 to the result 6) Divide the result by 3 7) Subtract 5. It's your original number! I wish I had a magians hat for the occasion...oh well... Students had to do the following with their trick: 1) Describe in words 2) Show an example # 3) Show why the trick worked with "x" 4) Justify each step (this showed students that whatever they did they had to undo!) The biggest weakness was showing why the trick worked with the general example "x." They enjoyed it and we had fun taking 510 minutes for a few days for the students to amaze their classmates with their tricks!

Natalie Turbiville
Educator who loves math and working with students. Archives
May 2016
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