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Monday, August 31, 2015

Math Assessment

We had our first math test last week (it should be in your child's backpack today). For most of us, this is the first real test that we have ever taken. We had to talk for a long time about what a test is and how you take a test.  At this point in the year, we do the tests all together and I read every question to the crew. I also project a copy of the test on the screen at the front of the room so the students will know where we are on the test. They fill in the answers on their own. As they become better readers, they will begin to read the test on their own. The tests we take in first grade are not really the kind of thing that the students need to study for - that will come soon enough in their educational career.

The test consists of two parts. Part A includes those concepts that your child should have mastered at this point and Part B includes concepts that have been introduced but do not need to be mastered at this point.

When marking your child's test, I simply circled items that were incorrect, underlined directions that weren't followed and wrote a letter "B" by numbers that were written backwards. Students also completed an open response problem. Since this assessment is more for me to know who knows what, I don't give a grade or score. I use the results of each assessment to help me determine who needs more help with certain concepts and who may need some enrichment around certain concepts. I am sure that you can see those same things as you look at your child's test.

The open response lets me know who is already able to apply skills we have been learning and if they are able to express their thinking in drawings and in words. This is typically very challenging for all students at this point in the year. As we move through the year the goal is for all students to be able to explain their mathematical thinking and reasoning orally and in written form - either drawings or words.

Finally, you may be able to see that simply filling in blanks was a challenge to some students. As I mentioned earlier, this is probably the very first written test that most of the crew has ever taken. Taking a test will become easier as we go through the year.  When I look at a student's test I am looking for understanding of a concept rather than test-taking skills. So please don't worry if filling in blanks was a challenge for your child. I can see if they understand a skill and they will get better at test-taking but I usually marked those to draw your attention to them.

Important Dates
9/7 Labor Day ~ No School
9/22-9/23 ~ Fall Voyage
9/24 Day of Rest for 1st grade
9/25 No School ~ Professional Development Day for Teachers
10/2 Boot Camp
10/3-10/18 Fall Break
10/19 No School ~ Teacher Work Day

Reading ~ Read a good book or two.

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