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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Taking pre-inventory

I was just looking at the Pre-inventory math test that my kids took last Wednesday. 20 questions that are supposed to be a review of 2nd grade skills that my kids (theoretically) learned last year. Realistically, there are 2 really hard questions on there, 2 others that are kind of tricky, and 16 that are practically no brainers.

I'm pleased to say that I DID have one student who scored a 90. He rocked the test. The next highest score was 60, and the average was around 40.

As if I didn't already know it, I really have my work cut out for me this year.

I never really expect much out of this test (which is why I'm so stoked about the one kid who scored a 90). Most of the kids are still shaking off the fuzz from the summer, they don't want to show any work or think about any of the problems, and so they tend to miss easy questions. But still... Some of the questions were just SO obvious that it still bugs me when they miss them.

For instance, one of the questions shows a picture of a rectangle (the question calls it an aquarium) and a square and asks how the two shapes are alike. I had 5 or 6 kids who picked, "They both have exactly 3 sides." THREE sides??!??

Another showed 4 fish and 3 birds and asked what fraction was birds. Only about 3 kids out of my 22 got this one right. Most of the others picked 3/4. Note to self, work extra hard on fractions this year...

One question showed a couple of base-10 block models and then asked which statement was true. The entire question could have been ignored, as the answers said 342>245, 342=245, 342<245,>342.

3 kids said these numbers are equal!!!!! What were they smoking????

Oh well. They are very well behaved this year, and there are not a whole lot of them, so that should make the intense work that is required that much easier.


HappyChyck said...

Hmmm...Math rants. Sounds much like what my hall mates are saying between classes--and they are 8th grade teachers. Very scary.

I'd be happy with my students if they would put their names on the right place on their papers. And I have the "smart" kids. It's going to be a long year, indeed.

Gina said...

I remember when I went to school math was well math, now you have to really know how to read well in order to do math.

You really do have your work cut out for you. Good luck! Maybe Darth Vader can help out. I can picture him saying to your terrified young group, "These scores are most disturbing." I bet they would be really careful the next time they took a test!

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Anonymous said...

These inventory tests are interesting. For most kids, they don't tell us much. However, for some . . . I had a child who did the 30 questions (4th grade) in about 3x the time any of her classmates took. I was worried, figured she'd be in our low group . . . nope, she got 100%. She's just incredibly methodical and careful and slow. Some of the answers were a bit scary from the whole group though. Wow. And, we'll be focusing on fractions in my groups, too!

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Melissa B. said...

Can't help ya here. When I was in 3rd grade, I always got ALL of the problems wrong on my math quizzes. I have no idea why they allowed me to continue. It's because they didn't want a 5'9" student banging her knees under the tiny little desks, I guess. The evolution of social promotion...

Jules said...

hee. i think they should share whatever they are smoking. that kind of thinking could make life much easier to deal with. :D

Julie Carney said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog and hearing about your class. I'm helping the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation start a blog on education and entrepreneurship issues. If you have a moment check it out. If you have an colleagues that teach upper middle school or high school that may find it interesting please pass it on.