On Wednesday, I gave my students a test of Math Topic 12- Area and Perimeter. Throughout the entire Topic, I did all I could to make sure that my students understood the material. I had them take notes in their Math Journals, we completed the first couple of problems on their homework together so they would understand exactly what to do, and I also had small group interventions with the students that did not seem to understand the concepts. I also created a study guide before the test and we spent one entire Math lesson working in groups to review for the test. With all of this said, I just knew that my students would do better on this test than they had on any other. I could not have been more wrong. I had one student get a 2 and everyone else earned a 1. I was almost in tears after grading these tests.
Well, I came to school today and showed the tests to my CT. We looked at the test questions, how many students missed each question, and what type of question was missed. We wondered, and have wondered, if the problem with our students’ performance on Math tests results from not understanding the questions. Many of our students struggle with reading comprehension, so it would make sense that they would possibly struggle to understand the questions on the test. So today, we gave the same test again, only this time, I read each test question aloud. The hope was that students would better understand the questions if they were read aloud and thus they would be able to show what they really understand about the topic.
I still have about 5 more tests to grade, but right now, the vast majority is scoring the exact same as they did on the previous test. I am at odds with what else I can do. If students do not do their homework and do not focus on the content presented during the lesson, how can they show an understanding of the information? I do not know what else I can do outside of providing interventions and working diligently to engage students in the lesson each day. Any suggestions?? All are welcome!