Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Inside Four Walls: Prediction Time!

We are testing in math this week and last year I predicted my scores and was off by a bit, except my Algebra B which was dead on. Last year, I counted all of my C’s or higher and said they would end up being proficient or advanced. This year I decided to count just my C+’s and higher to hopefully give me a better estimate. I have been saying most of the year that the students just aren’t putting in the work to pass the CSTs and well my scores will probably reflect that.

So here are my predictions for proficient or advanced;
Geometry – 43/93 46%
Algebra B – 10/26 38%

If these numbers hold up, then this would be my lowest scores for the CSTs. I have been struggling this year more than others on how to get the students to ask questions and do the basic work required. We all remember the challenges I had with my Algebra B classes this year. And is it my fault? Let’s take a closer look.

I have been doing the same thing in my Algebra B classes I did this year as I have for the past 3 years. This includes a daily quiz which tests the students daily on factoring, graphing, systems of equations, and another topic of my choice. We have factored everyday in my class since the beginning of October. And you know what? I still have students that can’t factor. Whether it is they can’t think of multiples of a certain number or they take out the wrong greatest common factory, they just can’t do it. What more could I do to help them? The idea of the daily quizzes is the whole spiral learning. I am constantly reviewing major standards/topics so they don’t forget them. Out of my 26 students, I have 4 who not missed one assignment…that’s it four. 2 others are missing 2 or less. But think about that, 15% of the class has never missed an assignment. I have emailed parents about this as well, telling them homework is crucial to them understanding the material.

Before this year, my CST scores for Algebra B were usually in the 60s – 70s. So is it fair to say I am a bad teacher because of this class? Or is it that I just had a really low group of students? How can my pay be determined by one test for one year? I have had students miss over 15 days during the school year. Is that my fault? Should I be considered an ineffective teacher because students don’t come to school? I wish politicians could see that there are so many flaws in their logic.

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