Friday, June 13, 2014

Summer School Blues

I hate test prep.  That is so NOT why I became a teacher, and it's not how I teach.  It's just not. 

However, I am 4 days into summer school.  Around Day Two, I realized that I had a grand total of nine (yes, I said NINE) instructional days to prepare these kiddos for their third administration of state math testing.  All seven of my new babies failed to master the first two administrations, and this is their final chance to pass a test that determines whether or not they are ready for middle school (don't even get me started on that).  These kiddos are struggling in every category of math - geometry, measurement, fractions, place value, probability...  So it's not like I can focus on one area.  I have to review and reteach 180 days of instruction in just nine days. pressure.

Teaching this way lit a fire in me, a fire that usually doesn't rekindle til the end of July.  I want to jump into next year with an arsenal of strategies to target my kiddos' areas of need.  So I created Number Stumpers, a bundle of activities and assessments to do just that (click here*** to download a copy).  I teach 5th grade, so I started out focusing on decimals, but soon realized that math is a foreign language without a fundamental basis in number sense.  So I added activities to target developmental needs in primary and intermediate grades. 

I did find a way to have a little math fun.  The school I'm at for summer school has a beautiful courtyard with a HUGE painted map of the United States smack in the middle of it.  Though we have no "official" recess, after lunch on Thursday we headed to the courtyard.

Me:  "Find four states whose borders create perpendicular lines." 

Them:  "Miss, what does perpendicular mean?"


***The link has expired, but visit my TeachersPayTeachers online store to get yourself a copy!  (link in the sidebar)

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