SBAC Testing Craziness

Testing is almost here and I am grappling with two questions:

  1.  How do I review with the kids to make it meaningful and engaging?
  2. What do I have the kids do on the days we are testing math and I have a substitute in the room?

Here are my solutions so far, let me know what you are doing to solve these two problems.

  1.  I have found a variety of game based review activities.  Many of them are on tpt.  Here is the list:
    • Bingo Chip Review using problems from Kuta Software.  I love that I can turn on the multiple choice feature to make as many multiple choice problems as I need.  The game directions are from Math=Love blog here:  Place Your Bets
    • 8th grade Bingo review based on strand:  8th Grade Math Review Bingo  Made by Free to Discover.
    • I will use a few of the ideas from this site:  8 Student Approved Ways to Review from Jennifer Findley at Teach to Inspire.
      • I think I will use the gallery walk idea as well as the dress-up activity.
  2. I am going to try to use coloring page notes.   I found them on tpt by Math Giraffe.  I think this will help them review material while still relaxing after taking the high stakes tests.

What are your solutions for this crazy end of year testing?

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Interactive Notebooks

I took the plunge into interactive notebooks this year and I am so thankful that I have.  It has allowed my lower students to reach new heights and helped my higher students to focus more on the problem solving then the actual rules.  Parents are also happy to see these because the rules help them to support their students learning at home.

The notebooks are also helping me to bridge the gab between current knowledge and the new rigor of the Common Core.  Our new common core textbooks are substantially more rigorous then our past books.  I have not even been able to use them because the first chapter assumes a lot of pre-knowledge that my students do not have.  It assumes that my students can solve multi-step equations, use fractions and integers with fluency, and write an equation from a word problem.  These are areas that my students are very weak in.  I am trying to support this with foldables.  So far in regular 8th grade math, we have made 5 foldables.  They are:

1.  Adding and Subtracting Fractions

2.  Multiplying and Dividing Fractions

3.  Operations with Integers

4.  Word Problems

5.  Solving Multi-Step Equations

In algebra we have made 1 other foldable:  Exponent Rules.

My goal for this week is to write about each of these foldables in a blog post.  Most of them are combinations of ideas from other places and I will try to add links and my own files so you can make the foldable.

What are your favorite math foldables?

Bungee Barbie

I know many people have talked about this activity for algebra 1 students.  I have done it for two years and I absolutely love it.  The ultimate goal is to figure out how many elastic bands it will take to drop barbie from the top of the stairs in our back hallway without hurting barbie and yet still giving her a fun ride.  I have modified several different worksheets that people have made, including the one from illuminations to make it fit what I want to teach the kids.  The goal of the activity is for students to see how linear regression can be applied in a real life situation.  I want the students to understand what the y-intercept and slope mean in the context of the problem.  Most importantly, I love that the students see that learning can be fun.  It is neat that the students from previous years come into my class excited for this one particular activity.  Here are some of the links that explain this activity:

http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=L646

http://www.themathlab.com/Algebra/linear%20functions%20regressions%20slope/regression%20lessons/barbie%20bungee/barbbungee.htm

http://fawnnguyen.com/2012/05/10/barbie-bungee.aspx

http://ispeakmath.org/2012/12/21/introducing-linear-equations-with-barbie-bungee/
This is the worksheet that I use for the project.  It is a compilation of worksheets from the above sites:    Barbie Bungee Activity