Graded on English for math assessment?

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Registered: 05-18-2005
Graded on English for math assessment?
9
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 7:43pm

I'll admit this one is new to me, although people in my area are basically I'm crazy to think this is weird.  I have a 2E kid, who in material part is dysgraphic.  He just had a 2nd grade math assessment, where he got every single numerical answer correct and marked the graphs correctly, etc.  He was given a 2 out of 4 solely because of the quality of his answers in several places where he was asked to write explanations of his reasoning.  He wrote out formulae that he felt explained.  (I don't even know if they were correct, they were simply rated zero for not being narrative paragraphs.)  He's been doing grade-advanced work (started 3rd grade math at age 6) in math all year without breaking a sweat.  They're going to rate him below grade-level in math because his writing skills suck?  (He has an IEP re: the writing, BTW.)  Most local folks (who I admit are a lot younger than me, maybe grew up with different math education methods) think it is unremarkable to be assessed on English language arts as part of your math assessment.  Do they now require arithmatic and logic problems in reading assessments?

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 8:44pm

I sound illiterate in this post--sorry, long day and I'm loopy.  I really know how to spell and do ELA myself.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 9:08pm

Hi Gwen,

UGH!  Seriously, there should be a note in the report stating the "poor" response in the written section and the writing was likely the source of the poor scores there. 

When DS was 4, he had to take the WJIII for entrance to the school.  They gave him the test for second graders (what they told me, don't know that much about WJIII).  He performed below age for all the writing parts - DUH!  We were in OT (and still are) for low tone - especially in the hands.  In the report, they stated they did not feel the results were an accurate assessment of his skills as he knew the answers to many questions, but did not have the writing skills to match.  When we had our conference, the school psych also pointed out that his weak areas were the sections in which there needed writing but he performed excellently in all other areas.  They basically saw the pattern and knew the writing was an issue, but the other stuff was not.

Now, all that being said... the school does zilch to accommodate his gifts.  They do a fantastic job addressing his weaknesses. 

BUT there should be a statement in the report.  If not, during your consult make sure the tester adds it in.

Side vent - did you know that aptitude which is what they test for IQ is extremely visual/spatially biased!  No words on these freaking things.  Find the picture which shows 4 horses and twice as many pigs.  Are you kidding me?!  How on earth are you supposed to figure that out when you can't tell which squiggles are supposed to be horses or pigs?

K

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 9:42pm

Hah! Ladybug, we had that problem, too.  At 4, ds tested as average.  His substantial vision impairment was only recognized at 5 (he compensated really well b/c he has an incredible memory)--he was retested with wicked strong glasses and got a perfect test battery (top fraction of a percent).

Gwen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Sat, 02-16-2013 - 10:39pm

That's great Gwen!

DS6 just finished VT.  It did wonders for his visual memory.  He just completed the EPGY aptitude test and still bombed the spatial stuff.  BUT he did well enough to get in, so yay!

Karen

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Sun, 02-17-2013 - 11:56am

Getting marked down on a 2nd grade assessment seems unusual. I could certainly understand it in 4th grade when everything is word problems and word answers. A second grade math assessment? Seems odd but then, perhaps it's more an issue of not following the directions completely? I'd probably shrug it off unless they try to use those scores for placement next year.

Personally, I can't tell you if that's been the case for my kids. I see very little of their work, only grades on the computer. Not even my DS has complained about it and he's the one with writing issues. I do like when my kids don't get perfect scores. When they do, they start to obsess about getting more of them. If they routinely get a point or two off, ironically, they are more relaxed about it all. If it takes some grammar marks off to make that happen, I guess I'd be OK lol.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sun, 02-17-2013 - 9:22pm
Are you in WA? That is how they do the required state testing here and it drives me nuts. My son (5th grade) does VERY well on the MAP computer multiple choice tests, (6 to 9 months advanced in both reading and math) but scores barely proficient for reading and under for math. It is all due to the writing that is needed which is VERY difficult for him. He gets accommodations, but they make very little difference for him - he gets to type on a word processor with word prediction. But that is just as hard for him as writing by hand. What he really needs is either multiple choice or to be able to dictate to another person. But, because he can hold a pencil, they won't allow that. So, what I do in the end, is to make sure that the MAP tests (that are supposed to be informal for the teacher only) go into his permanent file next to his state test results. That way if we ever have to chance our schooling choices, the new school would know where his strengths and weaknesses are.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Mon, 02-18-2013 - 10:28am

Is the issue that he was marked off due to his writing or because he did not explain his reasoning in the way required by the teacher?  It is my understanding that the current practice in math is to make sure students understand what they are doing and can explain their reasoning.  Simply writing out the formula may not demonstrate that he understands why he should use this particular formula for this particular problem.  You may need to ask the teacher what she is looking for and how your son can meet this requirement with his writing issues.  It can be hard to balance the challenge (in this case of writing) with the frustration of knowing the answer but having trouble properly expressing it.  This is probably something he will have to deal with all through his school years, so working on it now may be difficult, but ultimately a benefit.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2005
Thu, 03-14-2013 - 11:30am

The directions were "explain your reasoning", not "explain your reasoning in a narrative paragraph".  He hates to write, so he decided it would take less writing to "explain" in number sentences.  He attempted to illustrate his reasoning by showing equations, but the teacher did not even evaluate them because they were not word narratives.  Really amusing, because he's now into the fourth grade math curriculum in his regular classroom work, when he got a 2 out of 4 for the 2nd grade assessment.

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Registered: 12-06-1999
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 10:56am

Just my 2 cents for what it is worth. In the district i work in, in CA starting in first grade every lesson ends with a section called Writing Math where the students are required to explain their reasoning in a narrative sentence. Granted, in first and second grade the sentence is very simple. Not sure if this is done in your state.