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Florida Teachers...FCAT Help!!!
Old 01-11-2009, 03:01 PM
 
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I am a first year third grade teacher in Florida. I feel like I have fallen way behind in teaching math. My district posts a curriculum map for us to follow and a "suggested" amount of days for each unit.

At the beginning of the year I spent WAY too much time on place value and patterning and now I have only taught those two concepts, as well as addition, subtraction, and I am halfway through multiplication. I plan on taking that through the end of January and then teaching a short unit on division. According to my map, I am still supposed to teach geometry, data analysis (although this unit is really short), fractions, and measurement (including elapsed time).

I guess my question is, how behind am I? I'm worried about the FCAT and that my kids are going to score poorly because there is so much left that we haven't covered yet! Are there some units that I should go to next because they are heavy on the math FCAT? Thank you in advance, hopefully you guys can help me out!!!


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don't worry
Old 01-11-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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It is IMPOSSIBLE to teach everything before March. So, here's what I do: around January, I start supplimenting the core curriculum (EveryDay Math) with additional resources (my school has Buckle Down workbooks and the Study Island website, and I make copies of worksheets that cover necessary skills). You will need to skip ahead and make sure you cover EVERYTHING, even if you don't feel like every child has "got it". Maybe sit down and look at your calendar, mapping out an additional skill to cover ON TOP of what you're already teaching. For example, I'm on Unit 6 geometry right now, but I've found some great graphing resources lately, so I've tried to do some bar graphs, line graphs, and pictographs on the side. Next, I'll probably do some supplimenting with probability.

It's overwhelming, but we do the best we can! You'll get it done.

Good luck!
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not just FCATs
Old 01-11-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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Florida is not the only state that is facing the Big Stakes test crunch! It's about this time people have been known to start doubling the amount of math lessons each day.
We use the Buckle down math books and a "coach" book put out by the state.
We also have access to materials that pinpoint which categories carry the most weight....
Look to see if you'recovering more of a concept than necessary. On our test the only questions on multiplication are those that cover the concept that multiplication is repeated addition. Memorizing facts at this point isn't necessary.
Good luck
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Old 01-11-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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I'm in Illinois and feeling the crunch as well. The first thing I would do is looks at the framework your state has and determine which skills to focus on based on the framework percentage (IE: IL is heavy into data analysis and Geometry). The other thing that has worked well for me are Spectrum test prep books based on state standards and skills. Don't stress; you made a common first year mistake that many people make! Look at your kids strengths and weaknesses and go from there. When it's over you can teach what and how you want!
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Countdown to FCAT
Old 01-12-2009, 02:11 PM
 
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One thing that is really helping my class is countdown to FCAT. It is a booklet that is in the testing format. We do one page a day (it only takes about 10 min. total for them to do it and grade it) and they all try to make a 5 EVERYDAY. I am at an "A" and "AYP" school and this helps more than anything else. Any skill that you have not yet taught you can review as you do that days page. You could ask around your school or I could e-mail you the link that we use to make the booklets.
P.S. THEY LOVE IT!!! IT IS THEIR FAVORITE PART OF THE DAY. When they get a 5 they get to stand on their chair while we do a "you got a 5" dance for them.


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Old 01-12-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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We are also using the Countdown to FCAT booklet. THe one the we have was put together by the Dade County Bd. of Ed. Not sure if it is the same one as the previous poster.

After looking it over when I got it I realized that it is the FCAT released test for 2006. Whoever put this together took that test and then changed the questions for each of the 5 days. What I also like about it is that it gives the benchmark for each question.
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Not Alone
Old 01-12-2009, 06:15 PM
 
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Hey,
I've taught 3rd grade for a few years now and every year we all feel like this when January comes. I suggest getting with your team members and take a look at the calendar that your district created. (especially if your school didn't put $$$ into FCAT funds for prep books) I write down all of the standards that I know come after the testing date and then I begin using practice sheets for bellwork or for about 15 min. before my math lesson on those skills. Some of those skills for me are:
probability vocabulary; revisiting range, median, mode; fractions (comparing, matching a picture to); area/perimeter/volume; there really isn't alot of multiplication or division...they just need to match a picture to a # sentence or arrays; give them tools to use like a quick sketch of gallon man; measurement principles like estimating the closest measurements for things like what would you use to measure the length of your classroom/small objects/great distances
I would make sure they add/subtract accurately and to have them check their work. They historically miss those nasty subtraction problems with 0's! Practice a lot of those.
I hope some of those help!
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Countdown to FCAT
Old 01-14-2009, 06:20 AM
 
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blueyz24- I would love that link. Could you email it to me? I PM'd you but for some reason I am having trouble with it. My email is mperea7@yahoo.com. Thanks!!
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:44 AM
 
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Could you also e-mail me the link you have mentioned about countdown to FCAT. Thank you it is greatly appreciated. E-mail to lchaffee@yahoo.com
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FCAT Headaches
Old 02-02-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I'm sure you are doing a great job. Don't let this get to you because it is not worth worrying about. Your student's will do fine and, as with everything else, some will just never "get it". We feel the pressure at our school and wonder why they have us cram so much in from January to March. It's impossible to teach it all, and the "higher ups" are clueless about what goes on in a classroom everyday. Also, I don't know about any of you, but when that test is over the students think school is over. Hate to break it to you kiddos, but you have three more months to go!


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