Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Inside Four Walls: CSTs are here - 2012 edition

So here we go state testing is 2 weeks away and it is crunch time. Now I have been doing more work for my Geometry students this year than I have in years past, meaning trying new things. I started a weekly quiz that was 5 questions based on any material we covered until that day. My hope was that it would force the students to always be reviewing past material, in turn they wouldn't have to review as much before the CSTs.

So this week I took the state released questions, which is about 80+. However, the test is only 65, so I went old school and cut and pasted...literally a 65 question test for them. On top of that I selected the same number of questions they would have for each cluster. It took a long time to select them and get them all made so hopefully it will pay off.

So instead of doing the normal looking at grades to predict my CST scores, I am going to be looking at this test they took this week. Basically a proficient is about a 67% or so and that was the cut off I used. So for each period it broke down like this;
1st - 56%
2nd - 81%
4th - 72%
6th - 79%

Those are very good, unfortunately most of my students are in first so overall the average is just a 73%. If I could be above 70% I would be happy and would be looking at my highest scores ever, especially considering my 58% was high for our school last year.

Unfortunately, I don't know if the quizzes had any effect or not. What people don't understand about education is that we are simply a piece of the learning puzzle. Maybe I have great students? Maybe I had parents at home that valued a good education? Will I try it again next year? Yes.

Now comes the test and then the wait.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Music Non Stop: new Soul Cycle

I have talked about Soul Cycle before. They play instrumental thrash. It's very good music. Well out of nowhere I received an email saying they were releasing a new album in a couple of weeks. These guys are pretty good at what they do and with only 4-5 albums on my radar right now (including this one) who knows where this will end up at the end of the year.

Here is the album sampler to get a feel for what I am talking about.