Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Icy Day and PARCC Testing

School was canceled today due to the icy roads. Unfortunately, I made it almost all the way to school before I got the call :(. It made for a scary morning commute! 
I am pretty excited to have the day off though after yesterday's first day of PARCC testing. It would just be asking too much to have technology work and have everything go smoothly for the first day of testing right? Luckily, we have awesome tech people who were able to help out, because I was about to have a panic attack when 5 of my students weren't able to connect to the testing site and then one of my students wasn't even in the testing system! It was a rough start! Has anyone else started state testing yet? 
Today I am working on catching up on my list of things I have been wanting to create. I have been so busy with volleyball season, that I haven't had any extra time to work on some of the things I have been wanting to.  We are just now ready to take our multi-digit multiplication test this week, so making review task cards was my priority. I would love to know where some of you other 4th grade teachers are at in math. We have a new math series this year that we are told we have to stick to and the other 4th grade teachers at my school and I are struggling to get through it. We haven't covered long division, fractions, or geometry! And wouldn't you know it seems like the only problem types on the PARCC test are fractions and long division! 

Multi-Digit Multiplication Task Cards (2 Digit by 2 Digit)

Here are the task cards I created to review multi-digit multiplication. If you happen to have the My Math series, these follow Chapter 5. They will be half off for the next 24 hours. 


  1. This is our first year doing PAARCC (I teach 3rd grade). Our computers aren't the most reliable - even though they're only three and a half years old - your experience sounds common and awful! Glad you back home safely on the icy roads!

  2. Thanks for sharing. We start our math PARCC testing tomorrow. Looking at the practice test, I was blown away by the complexity of some of the questions and by the number of long division and fractions questions, too. I have no problem with the complexity, but my problem with these questions is they offer no opportunities for partial credit. For example, one of the practice test questions required at least 4 steps to solve it and then if the student goofed on the last step by rounding the remainder of their division the wrong way, they would get the question 100% wrong. I don't think that's right. Our previous state tests would have 4 point questions that would give at least partial credit for work shown like this.

    And, what administrators and others who aren't teachers sometimes don't understand, is that sometimes one standard can take one lesson for students to learn and sometimes one standard may take weeks of practice to master (like long division!)

    I also think that the computer based math tests are a lot more difficult for students than plain old paper and pencil tests. The "tools" gave my students a lot of trouble when we tried to use them to show our thinking on some of the practice test problems.

    And just to be clear, I'm not against all testing, but like many teachers I am concerned that we are over-testing. Just out of curiosity, do you have students who "opting out" of the test? We have had about 5% of students doing this.

    We'll see how it goes tomorrow. Good luck to you and your students! I'm sure you have prepared them well!

    Math is FunDamental