How I raised my math test average 21 points!

01 May 2016
It's teacher appreciation week, and I appreciate you! First of all, I'd like to thank my teachers who encouraged me to be kind to one another, go to college, be creative, and pursue my dreams. Thank you! 

I want to share this with you because I have had so much success with a new game my students are playing. I have a feeling that you may have experienced, or are already experiencing, the same problem (that's unfortunate).

The problem I was having, is that half my class was bombing our Common Core math assessments while the other half was barely passing! I was getting nasty parent letters about how I wasn’t doing enough to help my students, my kids were becoming very reluctant to take the math assessments, and I was frustrated because those two outcomes were my WORST nightmare!

At my school, we use a popular and successful math program to teach Common Core math. The math itself is not hard and the lessons are easy to follow. The only problem is, there is not enough repetition to build fluency. While I know that Common Core is all about having students critically think about the numbers and having a depth of knowledge about numbers is the sole purpose, I still believe that my students should have ample practice testing their ideas, and this wasn’t being met due to the fact that my parents weren’t open to learning Common Core math strategies; therefore, none of the strategies were being reinforced at home.

The program we are using is terrific; however, it doesn’t have much repetition to it, and there’s a hodgepodge of questions on the assessments. Almost all, with the exception of one, of my struggling readers had an issue with this because they NEED the repetition. They are all smart kids; they just take a little more practice to retain the strategies being taught.

Knowing that I needed to give my students more practice for the test and appease my angry parents, I created a homework game. I was sick of sending home the Common Core math homework sheets because my parents would reteach the kids a different way to compute and manipulate the numbers confusing the students even more (Yes, I even posted YouTube videos and they STILL weren’t reinforcing the strategies talk about frustrating).

I developed this math game based off of the questions we were going to be tested on. A great majority of these questions are word problems, which help my students who need extra help in reading, understand how to comprehend that type of question. They are all multiple choice, which I know isn’t the best way to assess someone, but it closes the answers and gives those who aren’t sure a choice. This allows my students to feel less threatened by the question.

I printed these questions off for the entire grade level of our school in hopes that I would gain some feedback from the students and rest of the grade level. I couldn’t believe the responses that came back. Here were some of them:

“That game was a hit in our class!” teacher
“I really think those math games are helping with the test.” Mom
“(My child) really loves this game. She is even trying to teach her little brother how to play.” Mom
“Wow! I am so proud of that test score. I know it’s because we’ve been working hard at home and playing that game.” Mom 

Can I just take a moment and say MY TEST SCORES IMPROVED FROM A 72% AVERAGE TO A 93% TEST AVERAGE! I am not even joking! My kids were so proud of themselves. They are so confident right now, and what makes it even better is that they are not at all afraid of our district’s math assessment. They are ready to kill it because they all think that they are the best mathematicians.

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation week, I want to share my Holy Grail with your students and families in hopes that it will help them feel successful, motivated, and PROUD of themselves.

You can download a FREE copy HERE only on May 2, 2016. Please enjoy and take some time to let me know how it helped you your students.

No comments