This morning we are completing Part 2 of the math booklet. As in Part 1, students are asked to complete various multiple choice and open response questions spanning all five strands of math.
As they cram the teacher-provided cheerios and bananas into their mouths and scratch with their pencils furiously on the paper, it is evident that they are considerably more confident... as I write this, one student just came up to me and demanded, “Ms., I need a spinner!” and several others are helping themselves to the various manipulatives they think they require, as opposed to waiting for a teacher to tell them what they need.
On the other hand, I am trying not to cringe visibly as I glance at some of their responses – so clearly confused – when we just did this during a recent math class!!!
Analyzing last week’s observations and this morning's, it seems that two things are tripping the students up...
The second problem seems to be the two-step problem typical of EQAO open response questions... while I drilled this format into my students for the reading style questions, we really didn’t focus on deconstructing math questions to the same extent, since I wanted to facilitate them in uncovering specific concepts in each strand of math this year, and learning to effectively communicate their understanding of said concept. In so doing, I perhaps did not equip them so well with the ability to determine what exactly is being asked of them in a typical two-step problem on this test.
I am curious to see if the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to the students’ results overall on the provincial assessment. Pity we have to wait until August for that data!