Say this to yourself: “I make math mistakes and it’s ok!” Most of the mistakes we make as teachers are probably because of being careless. Our minds are processing 20 different things while we are teaching. We are wondering if the students are understanding or if Susie is on her phone or if Johnny is ever going to come back from the restroom.
Make it known from the beginning of the year that you WILL make mistakes and you need the students to catch those mistakes. If they catch the mistake, then give them bonus points or a sticker or some reward to let them know it’s important that they notice your mistakes. Also tell your students that you do not know everything about math. That might shock them. You need to show vulnerability so that the students feel comfortable about their own mistakes. When you make a mistake and a student points it out, say THANK YOU!
Something that I have said many times this year is that I want the students to be wrong… a lot. I want them to mess up. I want them to make mistakes. I want them to leave the class and say, “Well I made a lot of mistakes today in math.” Weird, I know…but if they can say that, then they worked hard in class. Mistakes are a part of learning. Mistakes mean effort. No mistakes will probably mean no work.
Have you asked a student a question and they say, “I don’t know?” Tell them they can’t say that anymore. Do not let them write IDK for an answer on a paper. That’s a big no no. I tell the kids to “Fake it until you make it.” Act like you know. Put something down or give some sort of answer. Who cares if you are wrong!
Next week when you are teaching, look at your students and see who is just sitting. Walk the room. Who has a blank paper. Don’t let this happen. Get the students involved and teach them to be ok with math mistakes. Mistakes are necessary!
(Here is a gift to you. A digital display poster of Mistakes are Necessary. This is from my Google Drive… if you cannot open it, try from your personal email and not your school email.)
This post was a newsletter first. This is the kind of content that I like to write for my email subscribers. If you’d like to be a part of my email list, sign up here.My goal is to provide tips, ideas and resources for the busy secondary math teacher or tutor. If that’s you, please join.
The new version of the Texas Success Initiative comes out in January. As far as the math goes, there is nothing new on the test. Students will still get a 20 question test, but if they don’t score high enough on that part, they get a second chance to pass it during the diagnostic portion.
Why should high school English and math teachers be interested in this? Students must pass the TSIA to take college English and math classes. This includes dual credit math and English classes. The only way students do not have to take the TSIA is if they score high on the SAT or ACT before they are starting their college-level classes.
The math portion covers 4 main areas:
Geometric and Spatial Reasoning
Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning
I’ve created 6 practice sheets that mimic the College Ready portion of the test which is the 20 question test. Each practice sheet has 20 questions. The first 6 cover quantitative reasoning, the next 7 cover algebraic reasoning, the next 3 over geometric and spatial reasoning and the last 4 cover probabilistic and statistical reasoning. If your students struggle on any part of them, then I have other TSI resources that will help them further.
Here’s a pic of one of the sheets:
If you are not a Texas teacher and just need some good overall reviews for your ACCUPLACER class or your junior or senior math classes, these practice sheets would come in handy!
Go check this resource out or if you are interested in getting all the TSI materials, then check out the bundle!
High School teachers and their students should be aware of the ins and outs of both the SAT and ACT exams. Both of these exams are used by colleges and universities to make admission decisions. My goal as a high school math teacher is to be aware of the testing dates and keep my students practicing the skills needed to be successful on either or both of these tests. For the upcoming year, here are the testing dates for both exams during the 2022 – 2023 testing season:
Oct 18(In School*)
Oct 12, 27(PSAT/SAT In School*)
Nov 1(In School*)
March 1, 22 (SAT In School*)
March 7 or 28 (In School*)
April 12, 25(SAT IN School*)
April 4, 18(In School*)
Admissions Testing for 2022-2032 Season
*Possible School Dates. Not all schools offer the exams.
When a student asks me which one they should take, I always say both. Some students do much better on one of them than the other. The students should also think about which colleges they are applying and look at the requirements to help them decide which test to take. More urban high schools are paying for students to take the tests during the school day. This is an awesome opportunity and the students should take advantage. Another thing for teachers to keep in mind is that 11th grade students have an opportunity for recognition and scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship if they do well on the PSAT in October.
If you’re wondering how the SAT and ACT math portions compare, take a look at my chart below:
2 Sections of Math: No Calculator – 25 minutes (20 questions) Calculator – 55 minutes (38 questions)
1 Section of Math: 60 minutes – 60 Questions A calculator can be used on the exam.
78% Multiple Choice with 4 Choices 22% of the Questions are Grid-in
100% Multiple Choice with 5 Choices
Problems fall into 4 Categories: 1) Heart of Algebra – linear equations and systems. 2) Problem Solving & Data Analysis – being quantitatively literate 3) Passport to Advanced Math – manipulating complex equations 4) Additional Topics – geometry, degrees and radians, trig or other college and career ready topics.
Problems fall into 3 Categories: 1) Preparing for Higher Math a) Number & Quantity b) Algebra c) Functions d) Geometry e) Statistics & Probability 2) Integrating Essential Skills a) Synthesizing and applying understanding to complex problems b) Multi-step c) Non-routine problems d) Understanding connections 3) Modeling – This doubles with one of the other categories. A question can be both “Preparing for Higher Math” and “Modeling” in other words.
Comparing the SAT and ACT Math Portions
Now that you know more about these two exams, it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare your students. Even 9th and 10th graders can take the SAT 8/9 and the SAT 10 if you school chooses to facilitate it. All levels of students need practice over these exams. These tests are not like what students are accustomed to. One of the best ways for a teacher to understand how questions are asked is to take some practice tests. Very quickly you’ll see how you need to up your game in your classes and ask questions in different ways.
In 2016, I became a teacher on an Early College High School Campus. This is when my interest in college readiness soared. I also felt bad that in my previous years I did not give much thought about these tests. In 2016, I was given a class of seniors that had never passed the TSI (comparable to the ACCUPLACER). I had no resources, so I started researching and soon found out that I was going to need to create my own. Once I got most of my students to pass the TSI, I began preparing them for the ACT and SAT. Again, I had to create my own lessons. I’m happy to say that I’ve got all of these resources in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I’ve got them in various forms. You can purchase bundles or individual lessons. I’m still enjoying creating these resources and I’m adding things as I go. My current project is ACT bellringers. I’m also adding distance learning resources so that no matter your situation, you can find what you need.
I’m glad you made it here. This shows that you are invested in your students. They rely on us to use our knowledge to advance their knowledge! I wish you and your students success and a happy future. Please check out my resources if you are limited on what you have available!
I’ve put together a set of reviews both in PDF form and Digital Form for College Readiness Assessments. The reason for creating this resource is because I started teaching at an Early College High School about 5 years ago and I had no resources for my students to prepare them. I’m in Texas, so my students take the TSI. It is very similar to the ACCUPLACER. The purpose of the test is to see if students are ready to take a college math class or a college English class, but of course I’m focused on the math portion of the test. I found that students struggled on the test and needed more help. I decided to break it into 7 parts:
All 7 Packets come in a bundle AND I’ve started creating a distance learning version in a Google Sheets format. I’m over halfway finished with this bundle. This bundle also includes some Google Forms quizzes that cover each of the packets. These quizzes come separately too so they can be purchased with the PDF versions as well.