Sunday, June 2, 2013

5th Grade TEKS Based Assessments

The paradigm shift toward data-driven instruction has been an interesting journey for me.  I don't want to assess students too much or too often, but I still want to get an idea of where they are at and what they need, especially when it comes to math.  I decided to create these TEKS-Based Assessments and Student Data Trackers that specifically address the NEW Texas math standards.
I spent a lot of time researching the new standards and what exactly each standard means to create 36 assessments.  Each assessment is 5 questions and addresses a particular standard (except financial literacy which addresses 2 standards per quiz).
 I started tracking data with students who received Tier 1 and Tier 2 math services and I saw an increase in their own awareness of what they know and what they need.  This pack includes what you need to set up a data folder and have students graph their data.

Click the pic to see the 5th Grade Assessments in my TpT Store.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Keep Calm and Understand the New Math TEKS

I have been studying the new math TEKS for grades 3-5 and I'm noticing both minor and significant changes.  Although the TEKS don't go into effect this fall, I know many of us will begin using them to guide our instruction so students are prepared for the standards the following year.

I'm going to be honest and tell you that I cringe about every other time I look closely at one of the fifth grade math TEKS (moving back to fifth next year!).  Maybe it's because I've taught 4th grade math under the current TEKS the past year...maybe they really are cringeworthy.
Regardless of the TEKS being cringeworthy, we have to be ready.  If you're familiar with the Common Core standards, a lot of this will look familiar.

Financial Literacy
In all grades, a personal financial literacy strand has been added.  Kindergarteners will be identifying ways to earn money and distinguishing between wants and needs.  By fifth grade, students will  be balancing budgets, learning about different types of taxes, and identifying advantages and disadvantages of different methods of payment.

I'm happy to see financial literacy appear in the TEKS.  I think this is a great change that will help students as they make their way toward adulthood.

The TEKS seem to be very specific as to what students need to be able to do.  (That's the way it seems to me right now, at least.)

The Big WHY and HOW
Mathematical reasoning for WHY math is the way it is shows up a lot now in the new TEKS.  For example, students are decomposing fractions to understand what they represent.

4th Grade Changes
  • finding quotients for divisors of up to 4 digits
  • concept of "perfect squares"
  • using formulas for area and perimeter
  • Angles!!!  Go to 4.7A-E to see the changes
  • converting within customary and metric systems
  • data analysis 

5th Grade Changes
  • dividing and multiplying decimals and fractions
  • adding and subtracting fractions with unequal denominators
  • more work with expressions
  • more with coordinate grids and data
  • say "bye" to probability--it's moving to 6th and 7th

Recommendations for You!
I have been exploring the new TEKS in depth to make sure I understand all that each of the TEKS is asking us to teach students to do.  Here's what I recommend:

TEKS-Based Assessments:
I created  5 question quizzes for each of the TEKS in 4-5.  I sell them in my TpT Store bundled by grade level along with student data tracking resources.  I highly recommend these (even though they are not done) to help guide your instruction and assist with analyzing students' understanding.
5th Grade Quizzes
Update: 5th Grade Assessments are ready!
Texas Teacher Round-up:
I am working super duper hard to get all of the new math TEKS posted on Texas Teacher Round-up and adding appropriate resources and ideas to teach your students each of the new standards.  The old math standards remain posted, as well.  3rd and 4th grade are looking pretty good!
Finally, keep calm:
This is the year to bridge the change from old to new.  They are not technically in effect until the 2014-2015 school year. Everyone will be in the same boat.  We will all feel overwhelmed.  But, we will be okay.  Learn them, love them.  ;)

Helpful Links (adding as we go along)
Project Share

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Math Test Prep: Multiplication Chart

I've gotten a later start this year than normal getting my students accustomed to drawing a multiplication chart on a grid.  In Texas, they give students graph paper in their math test booklets.  So, my students are in training to draw a multiplication chart and fill it in all in less than 8 minutes.  Then, when they get their tests, they can draw it and use it!

Here's what I did to teach my kiddos.
1. I introduced the idea of the multiplication chart...most were already familiar.
2. I taught several students in small groups and they caught on and continued filling in their first one.
3. They started practicing on their own as they finish their math test prep station each day.  (Some of them LOVE it...I'm not sure why, but they do and they race each other then check the other person's...I'm not stopping them.)
4. Today, we started timing.  I put one of the fun timers up on the screen and had it countdown from 10 minutes.  They filled in as much as they could.  Most finished!!
5. After we had our first timed attempt, I gave them 5 more minutes to finish or check their chart with a preprinted one on our math study buddies.
6. Then, I put a blank one up and we practiced counting multiples 1-12.   I filled it out while they said them.  We did reeeaaalllly slow counting, quick counting, high-pitched counting, etc.  They ate it up.
7. I asked which ones that struggled with remembering.  They said 7's and 12's.  So, we practiced each of those a few times clapping them out.
8. Continue practicing daily until students are confident.  I also like them to be able to make it start to finish correctly in under 8 minutes.
You may be thinking, "Doesn't she hate herself because her class doesn't know their facts?"  Well, no.  I tried...really...tried.  But, they ALL don't know them fluently yet.  So, this is my band-aid in the meantime.

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Sunday, March 31, 2013

3 New Math Products

I've been a busy little bee...errr...penguin.  I have 3 new math products I'd like to show you!

For some end of the year fun, how about a Make Your Own Math Game project for your students.  This guides students right through the process from selecting a topic and game format to creating the final product with reproducible materials.  We're so busy at the end of the year, so the prep for you just involves making copies!

I've been using Math Study Buddies for years, but I gave them a reboot so I can get ready for next year.
These have a couple of options included based on your grade level and standards.

For Texas teachers, I've started getting together my 4th grade TEKS Based Assessments packs that come with assessments and answer keys for each standard, TEKS mini-posters, and data graphing materials.  I'm really excited about these!  Below is Set 1 of 4 total sets.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Design A Store Math Project

This project is great for the end of the year when teachers are short on extra time to prep materials. All you need to do is make the copies you need for your students and voila: your students have a fun and educational project!
In this project, students design their own store and apply their knowledge of decimals and measurement. They create a price list/ menu, layout, and storefront design and complete a packet that includes information to guide them through the project.
The differentiated projects will help meet the needs of your diverse learners. The end result is the same; there's just 2 different ways to get there.

Check it out in my TpT Store.

Monday, March 18, 2013

This Week in Math Penguin Land...

Today was a super fun math day!  We finished our Geometry Lapbooks from Amber Polk.
We had a lot of fun looking at edges, vertices, and faces of 3-D shapes using the marshmallow and toothpick activity from Molly at Elementary Lesson Plans.
I finished getting our math test prep stations ready!
We started transformations using my newest math unit.
We are making the foldable in the pack and also practicing each transformation with pattern blocks and dot paper.  It helps the kids understand images when the physically flip, slide, and turn the blocks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Third Grade Math Test Prep Stations

The test prep stations for fourth and fifth are the fastest thing to fly off "the shelf" that I've made yet.  I'm very excited to also offer third grade test prep stations.  (No more after that.)

3rd Grade Stations
4th Grade Stations
5th Grade Stations
There are 10 stations included as shown below.  They are based on the testable TEKS.  Readiness standards and difficult concepts influenced which concepts I chose to include.  The stations are designed to be used in addition to traditional test prep to keep things a bit more fun!
10 Fun Stations!
Here are pics of all 10 stations.  

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