careless mistakes on math tests - ProTeacher Community
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 dusty Joined: Nov 2007 Posts: 547 Senior Member
dusty

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 547
Senior Member
careless mistakes on math tests
04-07-2017, 03:44 PM
 #1

I have been using iPads as a math center and my first graders at this center must first answer 10 questions on the Ten Marks website before they can play a math game/app. I look over their scores later when i get home and i see mistakes that are mainly because they are not paying attention. How do I get my first graders to pay attention to all of the question and to look carefully at all of the choices? How do I get my first graders to take the time to focus on each of the multiple choices before picking an answer? If they do it with me they usually do fine but without any guidance to focus carefully, they don't pay close enough attention. I know they understand the concepts (some students are making mistakes because they don't understand but i am not talking about those students).
Below are some examples of the mistakes I am seeing.

Sam has 7 cats. Bill and Jan each have 4 cats. How many cats in all?
Students answer: 11 (aren't paying attention to the word "each", and yes, we have gone over that many times, but together)

There are 5 red birds, 2 blue birds, and 4 orange birds. How many birds are there in all?

Which addition sentence gives you a sum of 13?
3 + 4 + 3
4 + 5 + 5 (students answer)
3 + 5 + 5 (correct answer)
How do I teach the student to take the time to try to solve each of the choice before choosing an answer?
Should I be practicing answering test questions together as a class? the only problem with that is that the same students don't pay attention during whole class lessons, and my small group lessons are focused on the current concepts being taught and not review or test taking practice.
thanks for any ideas.

 seenthelight Joined: Feb 2014 Posts: 619 Senior Member
seenthelight

Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 619
Senior Member

04-07-2017, 04:36 PM
 #2

Are they rushing to get to the game? Have you tried you must have a score of ___ or better to play the math game. If not you need to stay on the site.

 dusty Joined: Nov 2007 Posts: 547 Senior Member
dusty

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 547
Senior Member

04-07-2017, 04:44 PM
 #3

Thanks for responding. My first graders enjoy using Ten Marks, and actually choose to use it during their free time, so I do think they might be rushing through the problem, but not necessarily because they want to finish quickly. They're not taking their time to focus. I can't really tell them they have to get a certain score because once they answer ten questions the category goes away unless I reassign it again for them later.

 Dr. A Joined: Aug 2008 Posts: 3,075 Senior Member
Dr. A

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,075
Senior Member
Getting Students to Carefully Answer in Math
04-07-2017, 05:06 PM
 #4

I think they may be carelessly answering so they can quickly get to the math game/app of their choice.

If they were my students, I would encourage them to carefully answer the questions by explaining that I will monitor their responses later that afternoon & it they get too many wrong then the next day they will not have free choice math games/apps. I would assign those students something else. Then, the next time they probably will take their time.

 ConnieWI Joined: Apr 2007 Posts: 6,536 Senior Member
ConnieWI

Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,536
Senior Member
Question...
04-08-2017, 04:13 AM
 #5

Maybe this is a reading problem and not a math problem.

 dusty Joined: Nov 2007 Posts: 547 Senior Member
dusty

Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 547
Senior Member
from original poster
04-08-2017, 05:30 AM
 #6

The students i am talking about can read the words and they know how to push the button so that the iPad will read the words aloud to them. I know they're rushing, but I don't think it is because they want to play the games because they do the same thing at other times of the day. They just don't focus on one part at a time unless i sit right with them, or when adding 3 + 4 + 2 only add the first 2 numbers. Another problem i have with multiple choice questions is knowing how to get them to think and solve/understand one answer choice at a time in order to choose the correct answer, such as eliminating incorrect answers first, or understanding the 5 - 3 can't equal 8 because it is a subtraction problem. They understand subtraction goes back but they just don't pay attention and i don't know if this is just developmental or if there is more i should be doing. I'm getting a little nervous that I seem to be the only one experiencing this problem with first graders, based on the responses I am seeing.
thanks again

 Dr. A Joined: Aug 2008 Posts: 3,075 Senior Member
Dr. A

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,075
Senior Member

04-08-2017, 06:02 AM
 #7

Dusty,

You need to model by "thinking aloud " how to answer the questions for those students & how to look at multiple choice questions to eliminate choices.

Teaching the thinking process of how to answer questions is essential.

 Keltikmom Joined: Mar 2013 Posts: 6,271 Senior Member
Keltikmom

Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,271
Senior Member
Math tests
04-09-2017, 06:29 PM
 #8

You need to teach them how to "unpack" a problem.

What is the question being asked?
What information do you have?
What strategy are you being asked to use?

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