Get Students Writing Now with Paragraph POW! (Part three: description)

LearningI invented Paragraph POW! as a way to make writing practice more fun. We practice on special paper—lines in a box, just like on the state writing test. One difference: our paper has an awesome Paragraph POW! logo at the top.

Kids live in the moment, not necessarily paying attention to what’s going on around them.  They get impatient—they just don’t care to notice details, and they certainly don’t want to hear about them.

You can see why kids have trouble describing things.

I created several Paragraph POW! prompts that challenge kids to describe.  These prompts are often real brain-busters for the class—I’m warning you!  Don’t load the kids up with too many of these at once.  Have them do one every few days or each week, building their ability to describe.

Some tips:

  • Remind students that a descriptive essay has its own structure.  It’s often built around 3 paragraphs that delve into details about 3 main attributes.  It does NOT devolve into a persuasive essay or personal narrative.
  • Challenge kids to think of at least one attribute for each of their five senses.  That should give them ideas that will flesh out their descriptive essays.
  • Suggest that kids make quick decisions.  This isn’t a contest to see who can design the best treehouse, it’s a prompt to describe a treehouse.  Make some quick decisions about what that treehouse looks like, then spend your effort describing it.
  • Challenge students to make at least one of their descriptions a simile.  Once kids practice this skill, they get pretty good at it.  They can compare a treehouse to a watchtower, a sunset to a fading spotlight.  Whatever.  Any stab at figurative language will be appreciated by the assessors.

It’s very important to praise students’ efforts as they learn to write descriptive essays.  It really is a hard style to master, so compliment progress.  I like to choose several good papers and spotlight them under the document camera.  With descriptive essays, I try to find something special in as many student papers as I can.  It gives students hope as they tackle the next tough descriptive topic.

Here are the Paragraph POW! descriptive  writing prompts. Click on each link for a printable PDF. I have also given you an all-purpose Paragraph POW! sheet so you and your students can write to your own prompts.

Good luck!

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Tips for Teachers,Writing by Corey Green @ Aug 30, 2013

 

Get Students Writing Now with Paragraph POW! (Part two: favorites)

 I invented Paragraph POW! as a way to make writing practice more fun. We practice on special paper—lines in a box, just like on the state writing test. One difference: our paper has an awesome Paragraph POW! logo at the top.

 A lot of people think that favorites make good essay prompts. These people have never watched students chew a pencil and stare into space for forty minutes, trying to decide if they prefer Snickers or Butterfinger.

Seriously.  Any teacher will tell you—that’s what kids do.  A “fun” writing prompt turns into an intense session of soul-searching followed by a few minutes of dashing off a slapdash essay.

It helps to prepare students to pick favorites in high-stakes essays.  More important, it helps to teach students a few techniques and tips:

  • Just pick something!  This is not a lie detector.  No one’s going to know if you chose to write about Snickers even though you really prefer Three Musketeers.  It’s easier to write details about peanuts, satisfying hunger, and caramel than it is to expound on the merits of nougat.
  • Whatever you pick, stick to it.  Don’t go getting bright ideas halfway through the essay.  If you switch from one candy to the next halfway through the essay, you’ll lose points for organization, persuasiveness, and who knows what else.
  • Don’t go off topic.  So you don’t have a favorite candy or you’re not allowed to eat sweets?  Just pick something.  If you turn the essay topic into something other than Favorite Candy, you might get a big fat zero for Off Topic.

Once my students understand the parameters of the assignment, they get really into Paragraph Pow! lessons on favorites.  It helps that I choose the essays that best exemplify what the state assessors are looking for and spotlight them under the document camera.  Everyone likes to have their work acknowledged.

Here are the Paragraph POW! favorites-based writing prompts. Click on each link for a printable PDF. I have also given you an all-purpose Paragraph POW! sheet so you and your students can write to your own prompts.

Have fun picking favorites!

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Tips for Teachers,Writing by Corey Green @ Aug 9, 2013

 

Get Students Writing Now with Paragraph POW! (Part one: choice-based prompts)

Test TakingI invented Paragraph POW! as a way to make writing practice more fun.  We practice on special paper—lines in a box, just like on the state writing test.  One difference: our paper has an awesome Paragraph POW! logo at the top.

Paragraph POW! became so successful that I developed dozens of writing prompts.  Writing prompts on lined paper are hardly marketable in workbook form, so I’m giving them away for free.

Paragraph POW! works best when students know their writing will be published and assessed.  Since I assign it so often, I don’t box myself in by promising to grade each paper, copyediting every single page.  Instead, I choose the papers that best exemplify qualities that I know standardized test graders value.  I put those papers under the document camera and read them aloud, giving many compliments.  Students want to see their work spotlighted and they put in their best effort.

I always insist that students do these things:

  • Write in the box (on standardized  tests, only writing in the box is graded)
  • Give your piece a title (test assessors love titles, apparently)
  • Start with an attention-getter.  This can be part of your topic sentence, or some fluff just before it.
  • Give examples and description.

I don’t get too picky about Paragraph POW! because I want students to practice extemporaneous writing—the opposite of our regular lessons, where they have to make an outline or fill in a graphic organizer.

Here are some of our choice-based writing prompts.  They ask for students’ opinions, but limit the options to just two choices.  Yes, my prompts are fun and thought-provoking, in a superficial way.  But I think the two-choice option is what really gets students to write.  Here’s why:

  • With two choices, there’s no overthinking.  Pick a knee-jerk reaction and justify it.  (Sort of like politics—my prompt presents you with a false choice, and you go from there!)
  • These prompts play on strong emotion.  Face it—everyone has an opinion on chocolate versus vanilla, cats versus dogs.
  • It’s not often that the school actually cares about your opinion on anything.  With Paragraph POW! students suddenly have a forum.
  • It’s just easier to give kids a choice of two.  This works on almost everything.

Here are the Paragraph POW! choice-based writing prompts.  Click on each link for a printable PDF.  I have also given you an all-purpose Paragraph POW! sheet so you and your students can write to your own prompts.

Have fun!

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Tips for Teachers,Writing by Corey Green @ Jul 26, 2013

 

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! wins Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award

Big news! Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! has won a prestigious award: Learning® Magazine 2013 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award for the Classroom. Teachers’ Choice is the only award program in the educational market judged exclusively by teachers, and it carries the most weight. Companies like Lakeshore Learning, Disney Education, and TREND vie for it each year. Products are evaluated based on criteria most important to teachers and students: quality, instructional value, usability, innovation and relevance to curriculum.

Here are some comments from the panel:

How did judges use the book?

In the classroom, I used the pages presented in the book as a way to show my students the patterns that are presented in multiplication. I also was able to differentiate my instruction because each fact sheet has a similar look to the others. Therefore the students were able to grow at their own pace because they received sheets specific to their own needs without being embarrassed about their progress.

I used this as my lesson plans, because the book showed the best way to teach the multiplication skills and it gave tips on each of the facts.

The students not only were able to fluently memorize their facts but they were also able to apply them in the word problems presented in each section. The product helped to build self confidence and the students were encouraged to make progress by the fun animal characters.

I love this book! It provides great scaffolding to allow students to master their multiplication facts and then carries through and allows them to apply those concepts in word problems. The best part is that it splits the facts up into four levels of increasing difficulty. It give tips to the kids to help them when answering facts and has several pages to practice each fact. Finally, at the end of a level it provides a comprehensive review and then a test to allow kids to test their fluency.

This product is a great tool to use in the third grade classroom just as it is. No modifications need to be made.

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!Would judges recommend the book to a colleague?

I have already shared the book with my colleagues and would recommend it to others that are teaching multiplication to their students.

I would recommend this to a colleague because it is teacher friendly and approaches multiplication in a systematic way. It is easy to use to help students. It scaffolds instruction.

I would absolutely recommend this product to other teachers in third grade and beyond. It is perfect for any student who needs to work on fact fluency. The word problems are all real-world problems and the long multiplication would be a challenge for more advance students who could work out of the same book.

I would recommend this product to my coworkers. It’s engaging for students, presents information in several ways which helped to reach my struggling students, and the order the facts are presented helped my students succeed.

Learning® Magazine is brought to you by the same folks who produce The Mailbox, a perennial teacher favorite for ready-to-use activities and ideas. Click here for a complete list of the Learning® Magazine 2013 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award winners.

Buy Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! now.

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Jan 21, 2013

 

Best Multiplication Products Win Tillywig Awards

I’m thrilled to announce that my math products, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!  and Best Multiplication Songs EVER! are Spring 2012 Tillywig Brain Child Award Winners (Books and Audio Categories).

“Everything you need to help kids master multiplication can be found within these [workbook] pages! Loaded with examples, hints, tips, and playfully designed worksheets, this workbook is strongly geared to how kids think and learn… If you’re looking for a systematic, comprehensive, highly-organized curriculum that makes learning (and teaching) multiplication fun and easy, you’ve just found it! “

“Kids often struggle with their multiplication tables, but it doesn’t have to be that way… This [CD] is also a wonderful tool to use along with the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! … An engaging, fun, spirited approach to learning something every one of us needs to know!”

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!Click here to learn more about the workbook, the CD and the FREE software you can download for addition and times tables practice.

About Tillywig: Tillywig’s mission is to provide retail buyers, news media, parents, and consumers with product information and reviews of superior children’s products available in today’s marketplace.

Evaluation criteria and process: a Tillywig award winner is one determined by the Tillywig testing team to have high entertainment and/or educational value. During the evaluation process, products are used by a number of testers in an observed focus group format. In the final evaluation of any product, comments from observers are integrated with feedback from testers. Testers and observers come from all walks of life and a broad range of ages. When assessing these values, Tillywig focuses on evaluating many factors, including:

Ease of First Use
Clear, easy-to-understand instructions and product design are key factors in creating a positive initial experience.

Replay Value
It was fun the first time out, but will it be equally or even more enjoyable over a period of weeks, months…years?

Quality/Appearance
Does it look and feel well-made? Is it something retailers would be proud to have on their shelves, a parent would be proud to give as a gift? Is it, from all appearances, built to last?

Social Interaction/Fun Factor
Products that effectively promote a high level of face-to-face playful interaction receive a high rating from us. If participants laughed out loud, so much the better!

Creativity
Does it inspire creativity during use/play? Does this product actively fuel the imagination?

Thought Processes/Motor Skills
Does it encourage new ways of thinking or promote physical development?

Weighting of Criteria
If the product appears to be an educational product, then factors relating to learning and development are more heavily weighed.

Thank you, Tillywig!

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Jun 29, 2012

 

FreeRice.com in the classroom or at home

Make your next computer-lab session a FreeRice.com extravaganza with these fun games from the philanthropically inclined quiz site.

FreeRice.com began as a fun way to while away your work day while “earning” rice to be given by the United Nations World Food Programme.  The original quiz was a multiple-choice vocabulary challenge.

Now FreeRice.com is an online bonanza of high-quality quizzes.  My students just love it!  Although all the quizzes are educational when taken by a student at the appropriate level, some become guessing-games for elementary students.  (I’m looking at you, Chemistry Symbols Full List!)

Here are my recommendations for elementary students’ use of FreeRice.com:

English Vocabulary: it’s leveled, so kids will likely spend a long time working on words that are appropriate for them.  If you get kids to really slow down and take this seriously, they can build not only their vocabulary, but their test-taking skills.

English Grammar: standardized tests abound with questions that look a lot like those on English Grammar.  Finding worksheets for practice can be difficult.  Thank goodness for FreeRice.com.

Multiplication Table: you can never have too many programs for practicing multiplication.  (In the computer lab: you can easily look around the computer lab and see that everyone is indeed on FreeRice.com and not Poptropica.)

Basic Math (Pre-Algebra) is PERFECT for elementary school.  Don’t let the Pre-Algebra name fool you; this quiz starts at a level much easier than that mainstay of junior high curriculum.  Depending on your kids’ ability to answer the questions, they will remain at basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division until they show ability to handle simple order of operations questions.

Identify Countries on the Map and World Landmarks are outside your kids’ comfort zone, and definitely outside what most elementary schools teach.  However, FreeRice’s pattern of repeating incorrectly answered questions will help students learn the locations of these landmarks.  Best for 4th grade and up, when kids really begin to learn history.

My personal favorite: Famous Paintings!  This is outside of your kids’ knowledge, but will be fun for them anyway.  For you, it’s a good way to brush up on your ability to identify paintings by the masters.

Have fun at FreeRice.com!

UPDATE: Comment by Team Freerice — June 27, 2012:
We’re so pleased to have Freerice as a Classroom Antic! Thank you for helping us to raise rice by raising awareness.

Posted in Academics,Tips for Parents by Corey Green @ Jun 22, 2012

 

Place Value & Addition: Adding 10, 100, 1000 FREE Worksheet


Here is a FREE worksheet on adding 10, 100, and 1000 written by a National Board Certified Teacher.

Most people would be surprised at how much difficulty students have with place value in general and with adding 10, 100 and 1000 in particular.  To us grown-ups, it seems simple: find that digit in the number and change it to the next digit up.  For kids, this is often a challenge.  If they can set up the equation, they’ll do okay—unless they line up their numbers incorrectly!

Cumulative review programs like Mountain Math try to address this by having the students add 10, 100 and 1000 to numbers with each session.  However, it’s up to the teacher to actually explain the process.

Click here for my worksheet that teaches a method for adding 10, 100 and 1000 and gives students practice problems.  I hope both the teaching method and practice problems help you and your students.

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Math by Corey Green @ Jun 4, 2012

 

Class Antics Nominated for “Most Fascinating Blog” Award

Dear readers,

Exciting news!  ClassAntics.com has been nominated for the 2012 Fascination Awards featuring the Internet’s most fascinating blogs in the category of Elementary Teacher Blogs.  It’s an honor just to be nominated.

The Fascinator Awards editorial team chooses the nominees.  ClassAntics caught their attention with FREE Leap Year Worksheets Part 3.  Special thanks to Kumie and Ramona, whose positive comments impressed the editorial team.

Thank you to the ten thousand viewers who visit ClassAntics each month.

Sincerely,
Corey Green
P.S. For a ClassAntics Sampler, visit these popular posts.

Classroom Management
All for One and One for All: Whole-Class Incentives
A typical elementary schoolday schedule
A Sample First Day of School Letter Home
Chill Music for the Classroom
Best Practices for Professional Learning Communities (Part 2)
Make your classroom a tattle-free zone

Literacy
AR Report: What Kids are Reading
Teaching Kids to Write Complete Sentences
Figurative Language with Taylor Swift: You Belong with Me

Resources and Worksheets
Dad’s Worksheets: my favorite math resource for parents and teachers
FREE Equinox Worksheet and More Equinox Teaching Resources
Beat Summer Slide: Where to Buy Workbooks

Civil Rights
Red Tails: The Tuskegee Airmen (Part 1)
Coretta Scott King Book Awards 2012
Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, Part 1
Teaching the Civil Rights Movement, Part 2
Ballad of Birmingham
Ruby Bridges

Academics
New Orleans Halloween
Think Inside the Box
How to Ace Standardized Tests

Posted in Fun With Literacy by Corey Green @ May 13, 2012

 

Amelia Bedelia in the Classroom

Idiom-challenged maid Amelia Bedelia has delighted children since 1963.  Who can resist a maid who doesn’t understand how to draw the drapes or put out the lights?  Amelia Bedelia’s good intentions and delicious desserts carry her through.

Interestingly enough, I have noticed that most children don’t enjoy the humor of Amelia Bedelia unless they are taught how to appreciate it.  Like Amelia Bedelia, children are very literal and they just don’t get the jokes.   I think kids enjoy Amelia Bedelia books best if they hear several of them read aloud.  That way, the students can help each other explain the idioms.  If you are lucky, one or two kids will get each joke, and they can explain them to the class.  Once the students understand Amelia Bedelia books, rereading them makes for good fluency practice.

Amelia Bedelia books are time-honored vehicles for teaching children about idioms.  This is especially helpful to English Language Learners (ELL students).  Idioms are hard to pick up—notice I used an idiom to explain the quandary.

In addition to the classic Amelia Bedelia books, your students will enjoy reading Herman Parish’s books about young Amelia Bedelia and her first experiences at school.  The books are charming and will make your students feel like seasoned vets as they chuckle over how confusing school is to young Amelia.  You can read a sample here at the Harper Collins website.

Tip for standardized test prep: it’s tough to answer a question about explaining the idiom if you don’t know what an idiom is.  Your students will face this problem unless you periodically review the meaning of words like “idiom.”  It’s easy to lose sight of vocabulary basics in fun lessons, so remember to bring the kids back to the definition.

Resources for Amelia Bedelia and Idioms

List of Amelia Bedelia books
Available at Amazon.com

Amelia Bedelia (1963) – Wiki link
Thank You, Amelia Bedelia (1964)
Amelia Bedelia and the Surprise Shower (1966)
Come Back, Amelia Bedelia (1971)
Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia (1972)
Good Work, Amelia Bedelia (1976)
Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia (1977)
Amelia Bedelia Helps Out (1979)
Amelia Bedelia and the Baby (1981)
Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping (1985)
Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia (1986)
Amelia Bedelia’s Family Album (1988)
Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia (1995)
Bravo, Amelia Bedelia! (1997)
Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor (1999)
Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia (2002)
Amelia Bedelia and the Christmas List (2003)
Amelia Bedelia, Bookworm (2003)
Happy Haunting, Amelia Bedelia (2004)
Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School (2004)
Be My Valentine, Amelia Bedelia (2004)
Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? (2005)
Amelia Bedelia’s Masterpiece (2007)
Amelia Bedelia Under Construction (2007)
Amelia Meets Emilie Castro (2007)
Amelia Bedelia and the Cat (2008)
Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School (2009)
Amelia Bedelia’s First Valentine (2009)
Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend (2011)

 

Posted in Book Lists,Fun With Literacy by Corey Green @ May 3, 2012

 

FREE Standardized Test Prep Worksheet and $10 off coupon for Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!An occasional series with sample pages from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

My publisher is running a limited-time-coupon for $10 off Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! to help your class prepare for standardized testing.  Use Coupon Code NGUTA5C6 and click here to order.  The offer expires April 15, 2012.

More than just a workbook, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! is a comprehensive curriculum that makes learning multiplication easy, enjoyable and relevant to real-life situations. Written by a master teacher, it addresses how kids really learn.

> Multiplication facts: scaffolded, comprehensive approach helps kids memorize their facts and cement their learning.

> Word problems (lots of them!) help students see the relevance of multiplication. There are word problems for each times table, level of multiplication, themed word problems, and long-multiplication word problems.

> Standardized testing content boosts students’ confidence and courage as they face the stresses of the standardized testing environment; answers teach strategies for getting it right!

> FUN! Friendly animals guide kids through the lessons. Certificates acknowledge achievements. Real-life word problems show how multiplication helps in sports, movie making and beyond!

The FREE standardized test prep worksheets never expire. This sample is Part 2 of an occasional series with sample pages from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Tip # 2: Determine what must be in the ones place

This is a really simple trick that lets you quickly eliminate wrong answers. Check just the ones digit of the problem. Multiply quickly in your head, and you will know what the ones digit must be in the correct answer. This trick works when you multiply by 2 or 3 digit numbers (and even bigger numbers) because the when you do your hugs and kisses, you never put any new numbers in the ones place.

Example A: 48 x 3: since 3 x 8 is 24, you know 4 must be in the ones place. Eliminate all answers with a different digit in the ones place.

Example B: 246 x 316: 6 x 6 is 36, so you know 6 will be in the ones place. Eliminate all answers with a different digit in the ones place.

Click here for FREE worksheets about this skill, straight from the Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Posted in Academics,FREE Worksheets,Math by Corey Green @ Mar 15, 2012

 

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! Wins Awards

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!Great news!  My newest math learning product, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! won two awards for 2011:  Dr. Toy’s Top 100 products and Dr. Toy’s Top 10 Educational Products.

“This innovative math workbook is useful for home or school, when multiplication is introduced or for remedial work in other grades. This workbook focuses on how kids think, how they learn, and how they have fun learning new material.”

Click here to learn more about the workbook and the FREE software you can download for addition and times tables practice.

Who is Dr. Toy?  Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, is one of the nation’s and world’s leading experts on play, toys, and children’s products.  Dr. Toy started her career as a teaching and reading specialist, helped establish the first childcare centers for federal employees, and founded the San Francisco International Toy Museum.  You have to love her for this: Dr. Auerbach was responsible for approving the first Department of Education grant to Sesame Street!

With 30 years of specialized experience, Dr. Auerbach evaluates educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best large and small companies in four annual awards programs.  Parents, teachers and toy buyers rely on Dr. Toy’s guidance in selecting products for children.

Dr. Toy’s motto is “Let’s play!”  Best Multiplication Workbook EVER! perfectly fits Dr. Toy’s philosophy that play is educational, and education can be fun.  I totally agree with Dr. Toy that one of the best teaching techniques (EVER!) is helping kids discover that learning is fun!

Thank you, Dr. Toy!

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Sep 6, 2011

 

How to Ace Standardized Tests

It’s the time of year when standardized tests take center stage in schools.  My students (third grade) took a high-stakes standardized test; for most, it’s the first time in their young lives in the testing environment.  I wrote about this challenge last year:

How kids take standardized testsHow to make State Achievement Test week AWESOME (for teachers)

Dos and Don’ts for the State Writing Test

Links for parents looking for information on how to help their students:

Disney Family Website Article: What Every Parent Should Know About Standardized Testing  “Thirty years ago, American school children spent two or three days a year bubbling in answers on standardized tests. Today, children in some school districts spend as much as 18 days per 180-day school year on standardized testing.”

 Testing Our Schools: A Guide for Parents  “This guide will answer some of your questions and give you information about testing. Use the guide to help you understand more about school testing, define your questions and concerns, and help your child prepare for taking tests.”

There’s an entire section of my new book, Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!  that deals with standardized test taking strategies.  Most students take standardized tests for the first time in third grade, and third grade is when the curriculum emphasizes developing multiplication skills.  My workbook deconstructs word problems and strategies to identify the correct answer to multiple choice questions, skills that apply to far more than just getting multiplication problems right.

Posted in Academics,Classroom Management by Corey Green @ May 16, 2011

 

How to Ace Standardized Tests: Analysis of Given/Find Method

This post is part of a series of tips and strategies for taking standardized tests.

Analysis of a standardized test word problem using the Given/Find method:

José is happy to have 3 pledges for his school’s Read-a-thon.  Person A gives José a $20 bill. Person B pledges $3 for each book José reads.  Person C pledges $1 for each chapter José reads.   José read 5 books with a total of 27 chapters. Who will pay José the most money?

a. Person A
b. Person B
c. Person C
d. $25.00

Analysis: for simplicity, underline the facts in the problem if you are allowed to write on the test

Given:
3 pledges
Person A – $20
Person B – $3 per book
Person C – $1 per chapter
5 books
27 chapters

Find: Who pays the most?

Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!Solution: Notice that answer d) cannot be correct because the question asks WHO will pay the most.  Cross it off!

Person A: $20
Person B: $3 x 5 = $15
Person C: $1 x 27 = $27

Person C pays the most, so the correct answer is c.

Example taken from my new workbook: Best Multiplication Workbook EVER!

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Apr 18, 2011

 

How to Ace Standardized Tests: Use the Given/Find Method

This continues my series of posts on standardized test prep.

The Given/Find Method

First, write down all the numbers in the problem.  This is the given information.

Next, write down what you are trying to find—and what unit will be used to measure it. Tip: to help you remember, underline what you are trying to find.

Finally, figure out which operations you need (add, subtract, multiply, divide) to determine the correct answer.

Often, the multiple choice answers include one answer that clearly is incorrect.  Cross it off!  Some choices are way too big or way too small. You can estimate and cross off these incorrect answers. Other answers often come from steps you take to answer the question.  These answers are there to fool you.

Be sure to finish the problem and find the answer to the question that was asked.

There! That wasn’t so hard.  I’ll deconstruct a typical multiple choice question in a future post.

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Apr 14, 2011

 

How to Ace standardized tests: Cross off the Wrong Answers

Here’s a simple way to keep track of your estimates, guesses and solutions: Cross off the wrong answers!

 Review the answers before you solve the problem. Often, you can eliminate obviously wrong answers.

* Cross off answers you can identify as wrong even before you start solving the problem.

* Cross off answers that you can identify as wrong or incomplete as you work.

* Cross off answers that correctly compute part of the solution when multiple operations are needed to solve the problem.

* If the word problem requires a person, place or thing in the answer, cross off answers that only have numbers.  This is especially important when the number you cross off is the correct answer to the word problem.

* When you check your answer, be sure you answered the question that was asked! Remember even with math tests, the right answer might not be a number: it might be a person, place or thing!

Posted in Academics,Math by Corey Green @ Apr 4, 2011