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January 17, 2013

Think Central Math Review

I just wanted to share how I set up Think Central review in my classroom.  We are fortunate to have IXL in addition to Think Central, though last year I mainly focused on IXL...  I did some comparing/contrasting (no Venn Diagram for me this time) the past 2 years and I noticed my scores were higher when I used Think Central than when I didn't.  I know there are many other factors between the 2 years, and I know it's not all about the test (in an ideal world), but Think Central ties into our math book and walks the kids through the steps of the lesson, while IXL gives them a ton of extra practice equations.  

So what did I do to set it up?  

I took the student scores breakdown (from the Curriculum Associates test they took in mid December), and changed it to a breakdown of their proficiency for each standard.  I know that we haven't covered the entire text so some of the standards I'm not really looking at yet.  But those standards that the kiddos should have scored proficient on?  They really have no excuse.  

I highlight all the 100% proficiencies on the main graph breakdown and then turn to the main Think Central database of benchmark skills. 

Each child gets one of these papers - just a grid of skills from 1-109 (all the 4th grade skills) and I highlight the corresponding skills they need to work on.

When we go to the computer lab the students don't have a choice as to what to work on.  I give them their grid paper and they have to work on those specific benchmark skills that I've highlighted.  They take the quiz and if they pass they get a sticker from me to place on their grid paper.  If they don't, they have to go through all the steps of the lesson again - modeling, doing the math, and the independent practice before they can try the quiz again.  

This week we headed to the lab and the kids were so excited to work on Think Central.  I only highlighted up to 7 skills to work on, so it wasn't overwhelming, and most students were able to finish them in the allowed time.  It took a while to get everyone logged in for the first time since there are a billion steps to log in (just kidding), but then they didn't want to stop.  

Now on Friday I am sending home a letter to the parents with the log in information at the bottom of the form.  The kids will also get 3-5 skills to work on at home over the next week.  I don't know if they will actually do the material at home since at home participation can be a tad iffy, but if they don't those skills will be added to their main sheets for the next time we head to the computer lab or when it's their turn to work on the computers in the classroom.  

The kiddos that didn't have that many skills to work on, well most of them still kept taking quizzes to get those star stickers (anything for a sticker you know...), but the other kids were able to choose to work on their own IXL skills or AR tests.  It was a very productive time in the lab.   

What type of program do you have to review skills before the BIG test?  

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