The day after a test, every math teacher has heard this student complaint:
“But I did all my homework, and I got the problems right! How could I have made a 50 on the test?”
Of course, the question is usually intended to advertise the student’s powerful work ethic, and perhaps to give the teacher a twinge of guilt for having flunked him.
On the other hand, if the student really has been working hard on the homework, then there may be some easy adjustments he can make to improve his results. Ask these questions:
Are you making yourself too comfortable when you work?
A common mistake is for students to work on math problems in too relaxed a posture. They should be sitting at a desk, with minimal distractions, and working the problems exactly as if they were testing.
Do you have too many reference aids? Are you using your notes, homework problems, formula sheets, stuffed animals, Twitter buddies, etc.?
Students often practice with far more assistance than they will have on the test. Stress to them that EVERY problem should be attempted — at least to begin with — as though it were being done on a test. Students should get as far as they can and then, if they get stuck, try to get just enough information to continue the problem, but no more. They may have to resort to little “tricks” to make this happen; for example, covering the bottom part of a solution so as to see only the next step, or asking a friend to tell them what the next step is, etc.
Are you checking every problem — NOT by looking at a solution, but on your own?
It is just as important to practice the checking process as it is to practice the solving process. On a test you do not have a place to look to see quickly whether your answers are right — you have to decide if your answer is reasonable and check it on your own. Do this every time to develop this extremely useful habit! You may be surprised at how many of your own errors you can catch, and learn from.
The goal of all these items is the same: Complete all your practice as if you are working on a test. Do not fool yourself into thinking you are “getting them all right” when, in fact, you are only getting them after checking your notes, trying ten formulas from your sheet, calling two friends (including Uncle Frank, the math professor), and posting a request on a homework help site.
All Practice Is Test Practice!
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Every year USATestprep hosts user meetings throughout the country to help you, our customers, get the most from your USATestprep experience. This January we have added a few new locations to ensure that more educators are able to take advantage of these training events.
All events are from 8:30am-12:30pm and include a certificate for 4 hours of professional development, a continental breakfast break, and USATestprep swag. Cost is $65 per person. Be sure to bring your laptop or tablet to the training.
These user meetings are a great time of instruction and Q&A for:
- New users, seeking a feature overview
- Experienced users, looking to improve their experience
- Teachers, who want to maximize our classroom resources
- Administrators, who want to track class and school performance
These events are for teachers and administrators who want to:
- Become familiar with USATestprep’s capabilities
- Learn how to use newly-released features
- Get the most out of USATestprep at a classroom, building, or district level
User Meeting Schedule
Discover how to utilize USATestprep through classroom stations. You’ll learn about five key stations that can be used in your classroom. Join USATestprep expert and former teacher, Felicia Zorn, live to learn about these five, student-centered stations that will transform your teaching approach.
- When: Wednesday, November 09, 2016, 10:30 AM EST
- Where: GoToWebinar.com
The Token System is Here!
- Students earn tokens for completing assignments and independent practice activities
- Students earn varying amounts of tokens based on performance and type of activity
- Students do not earn tokens for benchmark assessments
- Students can spend tokens to play games in the new arcade
- Students have free play games to choose from as well, but those games incorporate questions
- Teachers can check a student’s token history and even lock the game arcade when necessary
- Many games have transitioned to the new arcade, which means fewer options within the assignment system
Watch the video below to learn more about the token system:
Need to add your own free response questions? Now you can! In Step 3 when creating a benchmark, click the button to author a new question. Decide between multiple choice and free response, then input your question. If adding a free response question, an answer key and keywords are optional.
The token system and game arcade are now live! If you don’t have an account and would like to preview the token system, go here to signup for a trial. Here are the basics for what you need to know.
Why the change?
We found that students were rushing through game questions just to play the game. With the new token system, students have more incentive to pay attention to the questions and do their best. Students earn tokens based on their score and type of activity. For example, students earn more tokens for a test versus a video.
So, now students can go to the arcade and just play games with no questions? How is that educational?
Students must earn tokens to play the games; therefore, they must have completed some sort of activity on the site. For the free play games that cost zero tokens, students have to answer questions within the game.
What is the difference between a game that costs tokens and a free play game?
Free play games have questions built in whereas token games have no questions, just good old fun.
How can students earn tokens?
Students earn tokens by completing practice questions, vocabulary activities, performance tasks, videos, and crossword puzzles. These activities can either be assigned or independently completed on a student’s test landing page. Some students will start off with tokens. This is a result of their test landing progress. Students receive a token for each checkmark earned per element. On first page load, it will credit them with those tokens. It will NOT credit them for past individual tokens earned.
Can students earn tokens for benchmarks?
No, students do not earn tokens for benchmarks.
Why can’t I assign a game in a single assignment?
We are transitioning students to go to the arcade to play games as a reward for completing work on the site. Games can still be assigned through the group assignment system; however, game options are limited there.
Why are group assignment games limited?
Many games have already been transitioned to the arcade system since they no longer have questions built into them. The group assignment games are single player options that still have questions as part of the game.
What happens to existing assignments with games?
Any existing assignments with games remain exactly the same. Nothing was changed with existing assignments.
Be among the first to learn about USATestprep’s new token system and game arcade. The soon-to-be-released arcade and token system will motivate your students and make learning more fun for all!
- Why was the token system developed?
- How do students earn tokens?
- What can students spend tokens on?
- How does the new game arcade work?
Tuesday, 9/13 @ 10:00 AM ET
Wednesday, 9/21 @ 3:00 PM ET
We’ll cover the same information in both sessions, so you need only register for one date. The webinar will last 20-30 minutes.
USATestprep is seeking a sales and customer service professional. This is a part-time position located in our Kennesaw, Georgia office. Hours are approximately 15-20 per week.
- Phone-based customer service
- Sales phone calls to existing trial members
- Miscellaneous tasks may include data entry, order processing, web-based customer training, or other
- Handle incoming email and phone call requests from current and potential subscribers
- Experience working in a Mac environment
- Basic knowledge of formulas and filters in Microsoft Excel
- Strong technical problem-solving skills
- Phone-based sales experience
- Attention to detail
- Strong follow up skills
- Flexible hours
To apply, please email your resume to: email@example.com.
- Projector Resources
- Educational Games
- Practice Tests
- Vocabulary Flashcards
- Performance Tasks
To preview our NGSS-aligned content and test prep, request your 7-day trial. Our NGSS-aligned test reviews have been prepared by our subject area experts. In them, you will find questions that follow the course requirements, as well as items to reinforce the basic components of the course.
Newly Released On-Demand Webinars
- A series of prerecorded webinars to watch anytime, anywhere
- Calendar of live webinar offerings
- Look for the “Webinars” button on your home page
- Webinars will be updated as important changes are made to the site
New Ambassador Program
Would you like to receive free perks and be recognized for your passion? Then check out USATestprep’s new Ambassador Program. Our Ambassadors help spread the word and educate teachers about USATestprep. In exchange, Ambassadors are rewarded with free swag, online recognition, first-to-know status, and more! Apply here to join this exclusive group.