Sunday, August 19, 2012

Inside Four Walls: 2011-2012 CST results

So a few months ago, but only two posts down :-( I predicted my scores for my Geometry class, but not my Algebra B. First I predicted my Geometry would be a 73%, which would be my highest scores ever. Well, I did better. It came out to be 75% of my students were proficient or advanced. And yeah, like I said in the post, if it was above a 70% it would be high for our school because we are usually in the high 50s. Well, the school average was in the mid 50%s. So yeah, really excited there.

But what about my Algebra scores? I didn't give a prediction because I forgot to update it, but I was looking at, hopefully, a 30% (based on their grade). Well, I guess I was a little too hard on them because they came back at 93%. That isn't a typo, 93% of my students were either advanced or proficient. School average was 57%. I got nothing to say.

So for those that stumble upon this and want to know how? In Geometry, I give a 15 minute weekly quiz over anything that we have done. So if it is March and I want to ask questions from Chapter 2, it's fair game. I think they have something to do with it. I started doing it during the second semester of the 2010-2011 school year and I ended up with the second highest scores. Or it could be I just had really motivated students.

In Algebra B, same thing. A 4 question daily quiz covering factoring, graphing, systems of equations, and whatever else (usually rational expressions). I barely covered word problems, like only two types. But if they can master those sections, they are almost guaranteed a proficient score. I also don't have any partial credit. It's all right or wrong. Plus multiple choice tests get them ready for the CSTs. In Algebra, they can just plug in their answers. In Geometry, they can eliminate some.

Finally, I don't allow calculators 2nd all. I don't want them to have their first test without a calculator being the CSTs. In Geometry, I make them solve right triangles with special angles or leaving answers with trig functions in the answers.

So do I think I am a good teacher? Actually, no. I think I have found a way to teach to a test. I put my students in the best position to pass. Kind of like a coach making adjustments at half time, that's all I have done.