Thursday, March 12, 2015

Math problems of the week: Common Core-inspired test questions

From the sample 3rd grade math test from Smarter Balanced Assessments, which is developing Common Core tests for 31 states:

Extra Credit:

Discuss these problems in terms of:

1. 21st century skills
2. the Common Core Standards' goal of preparing students "for college and career," and
3. the difference between labels (where the primary challenge is knowing the meaning of a particular mathematical label) vs. concepts (where you have to understand a non-trivial mathematical concept).

1 comment:

Auntie Ann said...

About 50% of the problems with the Common Core tests could be fixed by just doing the things on paper.

The move to computer-based testing is a disaster. I tried taking an online sample, and the computer interface was incredibly time consuming and frustrating. How are kids supposed to show their work on a computer screen? Something that can be quickly done with a pencil and paper becomes unwieldy and aggravating on a monitor. (My grad school thesis contained equations long enough to fill an entire page, I know how hard it is to do math with a computer!)

We've seen a lot of math problems from the tests, but I would think the language arts part are just as bad. Does the 8 year old touch-typist have an enormous advantage over the kid who actually knows grammar, spelling and has good reading comp, but who hasn't spent much time at a keyboard? Probably.

It's a case of the shiny new thing being adopted because it's shiny and new, not because it is actually useful.