High Stakes testing is upon us. Here in Maryland, our students must pass the High School Standards exam in order to graduate from high school. The algebra test is not excessively difficult, but not excessively easy either. Student who learn differently need lots of practice in basic skills, concepts and applications. Each year at ASDEC we offer an intensive review. The class is always small and we are able to give students individual attention and support.
This year we handed out our usual packets, lots of summary pages with essential information and review samples. We focused on chunking similar problems in sets rather than exposing the students to a mixed review. We offered visual dictionary pages in which key terms were not only defined but illustrated. We used concrete manipulatives to illustrate core concepts and mapped them onto real problems from the test.
The result: students wrote on the evaluations that they would recommend the review to other students who struggled. One student wrote, "They really make you understand what the math is all about." No higher compliment...except maybe that they all pass.