All posts by mathconfidence

Answers with Questions…WHY oh Why? The New SAT: Week 2 of Studying

Glad to have this book but why oh why did the answers get right next to the questions?  Students will not actually “do” questions when answers are RIGHT THERE!!!

Read the rest of Part 1: Chapters 4 and 5: PSAT and New Score Information

Part 2 Chapters 6 – 17: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

Part 3 Chapters 18-24: Math

Info on the new SAT: There will be an official PSAT 10 and PrePSAT known as PSAT 8/9 (similar to the ACT Aspire, Explore and Plan) and no more penalty for guessing
Reading  65 minutes, 52 questions
Writing and Language 35 minutes, 44 questions
Math Test – No Calculator  25 minutes, 20 questions
Math Test – Calculator  55 minutes, 38 questions
Essay is optional  50 minutes

When: New SAT Test Dates
March 5, 2016 is the FIRST ONE!!  This will affect rising juniors and younger students.

New PSAT Dates Weds Oct 14 or 28  PSAT Practice here!!!
Current 10th graders will take the PSAT 10 between Feb. 22 and March 4, 2016.

Reading Test: page 70: “Wrong answers are often tempting.  Therefore, you must base your answer on a close reading of the text and any associated graphics.”

ESSAY info here
The SAT essay will be optional and will be the last section.  It has a totally new feel and focuses on developing an argument that is powerful and persuasive.

OK SIT DOWN…SOME OF THE MATH DOES NOT ALLOW A CALCULATOR.  Since 1994, the SAT has allowed a calculator (disclosure: I am from BC: Before Calculators).  On the first read of the chapters, I do not see which problems allow the calculator and which do not…

The Additional Topics include very fancy shmancy Math like 3D geometry, Trig incl radians, and Complex Numbers

and will be starting Part 4: Four Official Practice Tests with Answer Explanations

The new SAT Week 1: Studying for 3/5/16

SAT Study Guide 2015

Week 1 of studying:

Registered for the first administration of the new SAT on March 5:

Signed up for Khan Academy’s FREE SAT Prep
Completed 3 of the 4 Math diagnostic quizzes and 2 of the 4 verbal diagnostic quizzes

Tweeted to College Board re: SAT Question of the Day

Received the new Official SAT Study Guide shown above from amazon on Weds 7/1 and have read through Chapters 1 – 3
Here are the Key Content Changes and the Redesign Specifications

June 2015 Brain Teaser Solution

Q: Can you take the clock face below, and cut it into four pieces such that the numerals on each part add up to the same number?

A: The key is to turn the number XI upside down to a IX or:
turn the IX upside down to a XI
The numbers 1-12 add up to 78 which is not divisible by 4
Replace 11 with a 9 and the numbers now add up to 76 which is divisible by 4
and/or replace the 9 with an 11 and now the numbers add up to 80 which is also divisible by 4

Fortune Cookie: How Many Steps in a Mile?

A mile walked with a friend contains only a hundred steps

The experience of walking a mile with a friend can be so engaging that it may feel like only a hundred steps.
But mathematically speaking, those would be mighty BIG steps.
With 5280 feet per mile, 100 steps would make each step 52.8 feet: almost twice as long as the long jump record set in 1991 by Mike Powell.  Dividing 5280 feet by 29.375 feet/step is about 180 consecutive long jumps which would likely make anyone forget they were taking a walk with a friend (not to mention, we did not count the long runup to the long jump).

Surely this fortune from the Chinese restaurant: “A mile walked with a friend contains only a hundred steps” is using a metaphor.  Usually for most people, there are about 2000 steps in a mile.

So grab a friend and take a walk and feel only 5% of your steps!!

Increasing the Math Willingness of Students

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Boosting Math Confidence is most of what I do in the classroom and one-on-one.  I named my website Math Confidence as it is the opposite of Math Anxiety.   Grouping students may increase classroom discussion although sometimes the sharper students will just tell the reluctant students.

Here are some things I do to encourage participation:
Note: this may not lead to everyone being part of the whole class discussion but at
least it makes the more reluctant students do Math 😉 and it gives the teacher a lot of material from which to lead the discussion.

Independent Work

5 or so mins of independent work (the room is slient) so I can walk around and work with s’s one on one.  This could include comparison type questions, matching, or other low-intensity tasks.

Surveying without Student Names

low tech: index cards or Post Its
high tech: Nearpod, Poll Everywhere or Kahoot (disclaimer: I have not used Kahoot yet but plan to next year)

blind voting:  everyone puts their head on their desk and votes (I can see but fellow
students cannot!)

Increase Self-Awareness

A lot of Math mistakes are “fuzzy errors” rather than conceptual errors.  A lot of the questions I ask are self-reflective, metacognitive questions such as “Is it bigger or less than 1/2? Why?”, “Easy, Medium or Hard?” and “Is that your final answer?”.  And for reluctant students, building confidence often comes from being ok with making mistakes and correcting them.

Allowing/Requiring Open Book/ Open Note Exams
Math is not about memorization and I have the great fortune of being able to allow students to use their notes/textbooks during quizzes and tests.  This boosts confidence for many students that they do not have to memorize but instead figure it out!!
I also share that iif they write nothing then their score will be nothing and talk to students about reading over the entire exam before they get started and figuring out their “Easy, Medium or Hard?”.