Monday, February 17, 2014

Countdown to STAAR: How I'm reviewing for math STAAR in my classroom

STAAR is coming fast!!! This is the time of the school year where I begin to feel an incredible amount of stress as I enter panic mode, but somehow this year I still feel stress, but I also feel more prepared. I want to share with you how I am reviewing for the math STAAR test in my classroom. (All concepts have been taught, so now I am reviewing and fine tuning any misconceptions).

First, below you will find my 'plan' for reviewing (I already know I will need to be flexible).
Feb. 10-14 Reporting Category 2
Feb. 18-21 RC 3
Feb. 24-28 RC 4
Mar. 3-7 RC 5
Mar. 17-21 RC 1
(I am purposefully leaving RC1 and RC5 until the end (well technically I never stop RC because my PODs are always RC1) because of the # of questions STAAR has from those RC-29). I like to leave those until the end so that they are fresh.

I waited until this week to post my plan because I wanted to see how things went with the first week of review. This is what I did:
I pulled problems for all the S.E.s in RC 2 from various resources that I have (Kamico, Mentoring Minds, STAAR Ready) and created a packet for my students (20-25 problems). For this RC I focused heavily on 5.5A because it is the readiness standard in the RC.

Everyday (I have 70 minutes for math) I started class with a quick 1-Minute-Mad-Minute to practice our facts, then I moved on to our Problem of the Day (POD) that I use to spiral RC1 S.E.s (I ALWAYS spiral RC1 because 18 test questions come from it and I feel my students have a great chance of passing if they can get the majority of RC1 questions correct).
After that, I jumped right into RC2. For the week we focused on function machines and writing the relationship between sets of data. I posted a picture of a function machine with a # for the input and a # for the output and we worked together to write the relationship for the function in 2 ways so that they would have lots of practice with finding patterns and describing relationships.
After doing that, I set a timer and moved on to the "We do, You do" portion. I set the timer for 4 minutes and I modeled a problem-I modeled determining the concept and starting point, ask myself what I need to find, asked the kids questions, did a think aloud of strategies I could do, used grid paper to solve, etc.. Then I set the timer again for 4 minutes and now the students practiced a problem on their own. I found that this kept them engaged more than just me solving all problems or them working independently all the time. Now, my students are keeping a tally of the problems they are getting correct on their own. I challenged them to get 80% of the problems correct and I did notice that adding some competition has helped motivate them.
***My students have been trained to think of the concept and starting point when they are solving a problem, so this helps them at least have an idea of how to attack a problem. ( I could elaborate more on this if you guys need me to).

On Friday, I did pull all the questions that belong to RC2 from the released STAAR (old-fashion cut and paste) and allowed students to work in pairs to solve. At this time, I pulled in a group and worked with them. I did notice that all the week's practice did help them and they had an easier time with the released items. (If any of the students finished, they worked on their math centers).

I do plan on following the same format for all the RC (and I also plan on spiraling the RC I have already reviewed so that they continue to practice and concepts stay fresh). I have noticed that doing the Daily Math Reviews has helped them retain concepts so I will also continue that. I should also mention that I am pulling small groups and doing lots and lots of review whenever possible (I use my math station cards for this).

If at any time I see the kids are becoming bored or need a small break, I pull a Marilyn Burns 'Guess my Number' to provide a short 2-minute break and then we jump right back into STAAR mode.

To keep kids organized during these hectic weeks, we are using a pocket folder where they are keeping all their math packet reviews and using them to study at home (parents have really liked this).

I am still working on how I will review the week of Mar. 24-28 (Review all tested S.E.s). I know I will have stations, but I haven't completely planned it all out.

Please let me know if this is helpful and also what tips you may have as we get closer and closer to STAAR.

*Next week, I will be posting how I am reviewing for reading.

Have a blessed day!

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1 comment:

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