Testing Tips

Volume 4: March 9, 2020

Welcome to our Testing Tips Newsletter: Week 4

The purpose of our Weekly Testing Tips is to help you and your student(s) feel more comfortable when they take the CAASPP and/or CAST testing this Spring. This week's newsletter will focus on Writing in Math. What is Writing in math? Read on to find out this looks like on the CAASPP Math test, and how to ensure your student can be successful.

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Word Problems~ How do we solve them?

Word problems aren’t just on school tests. You solve word problems every day in your work or even while you’re just out and about. Don’t worry — these steps make solving word problems easier than you think. Just follow these easy steps to take away the mystery:

*Read the problem*

Begin by reading the problem carefully. Don’t jump to any conclusions about the answer until you understand the problem.

*Identify and List the Facts*

Look at all the information given in the story problem and make a list of what you know.

*Figure out exactly what the problem is asking for*

Know what you’re trying to find. The problem often states the required answer, but sometimes you have to figure it out from the information given. If an important fact isn’t there, you can often convert some piece of the given information.

*Eliminate excess information*

The problem may include facts that don’t help you find the solution, so clear them out of the way. If there is a sentence without a number in it, it is usually doesn't contain necessary information (cross it out).

*Pay attention to units of measurement*

For example, if dimensions are given in inches, but the answer must be in square feet, you need to convert units. You can use a table of conversions, an online calculator, or your own memory to get the conversion factors.

*Draw a diagram*

Sometimes a diagram helps you visualize the problem (but not always)

*Find or develop a formula*

When you see the math that needs to be done, you probably know a common math formula to use for the computation. You will find that you use some special formulas again and again.

*Do the math and check your answer*

After you have an answer, be sure to test it. If the result is outrageously high or low, verify whether you made a mistake.

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Interested in lessons and activities that involve math language, word problems, and performance tasks in math? Check out the links below!

Below you will find links to many FREE math activities that will help students be successful on the Math Performance Task portion of the SBAC test. The performance task section focuses on real world tasks/scenario based problems, and allows for multiple ways to solve the problems. These are often challenging for students because they often have to explain their answers in words, not just numbers.

25 % Sale Middle School Exemplar

25% Sale Middle School RUBRIC (answers)

Building Shapes Grades 3-5

Fraction Spinners

Circumference and PI activities

Multiply by 6 Dice Game

Multiply by 2 Dice Game

Multiplication Spinners

K-2 Dice Game

Mathematical Mindset

How Many Biscuits (Grades 5-6)

K-2 Practice Math Task

3-5 Grade Practice Math tasks

6-8 Grade Practice Math Task


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Practice Test

Click HERE to try a practice test today!