Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I live and teach in a state that used to do testing in the fall. We spent the first few weeks reviewing all of the previous years standards. We seldom got test scores back before spring, which rendered them almost useless. It was too late to really make an impact on those that had just missed proficiency. At-risk students had usually been receiving support in RTI.
This year we are finally joining the rest of the country in doing our state proficiency test in the spring. Testing windows vary. Our window for fifth grade begins the day we return from spring break. It runs for the next three weeks. This year we were going to do Smarter Balance Assessment, but the state decided to go with two versions of a new test, the M-Step. One is a paper/pencil and the other is computerized. We have opted to do the computerized test. This new test is very different from the old "MEAP". It is much more like Smarter Balance. It is also testing common core standards. They have opened a Spring Preview Test. I am going to give my students plenty of time to check out the sample questions. Luckily, this group of students did a pilot of Smarter Balance as third and fourth graders, so the test question format should be familiar.

Unfortunately, our math curriculum is not aligned. To prepare students for the test I am supplementing my math curriculum with task cards and other activities. I don't have as much time to make products as I would like, so I look for good deals. By following blogs and facebook pages, and stores on Teachers Pay Teachers, you can get lucky and win products. My textbook series doesn't get to operations with decimals for a few more weeks, so I jumped at the chance to grab some task cards and activities for centers. I happened to find to great products to help with decimals.
The first product was from Melissa O'Bryan from Wild About Fifth Grade. Melissa sent me her New Year's Decimal Centers.

New Years Decimal Centers Grades 4-6

What I loved about this set is that it included Task Cards, Independent Worksheets, and Math games. Students practiced rounding decimals, ordering decimals, adding decimals mentally, and multiplying decimals. 
My second product was from Verena Scrivens at Diary of a 5th Grade Teacher. She sent me her Dividing Decimal Task Cards.
Dividing with Decimals Task Cards

This set helped fill the requirements for dividing with decimals. I liked that Verena has the CCSS listed on each task card. This was helpful when determining which particular standards my kids still need to practice. This was a great way to practice skills, and made planning a breeze.

1 comment:

  1. Awww thanks Marcia for the shout out. You made my day. It's so exciting to see students benefiting from one of my products!

    Wild About Fifth


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