5Th Grade Thinking Skills Worksheets TAKS Fifth Grade Math Texas Assessment

Document Sample
5Th Grade Thinking Skills Worksheets TAKS Fifth Grade Math Texas Assessment Powered By Docstoc
					                               TAKS - Fifth Grade Math
                       Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills

                                    Charlotte Upshaw
                                     Education 6310
                                      Dr. Eisenwine

       For the past three years I have taught fifth grade in Colorado City. When I came

on board with my new teaching crew I was told that I would be in charge of the math

curriculum. This was a great surprise with an added shock of terror. At the time, this

crew had just been through their first year with the TAKS test. I remember having a

“round table” discussion with my new team and principal about what needed to be done.

Talk about a terrifying reality, with a sweet, “Welcome aboard!” My new team was great

and had worked hard preparing for the unknown, but we needed to move forward. I took

the challenge of the math reigns and came up with a hopeful plan.

       In looking at the math TAKS test I began by breaking down each set of

objectives. This proved beneficial in knowing what skills or set of TEKS each individual

objective actually covered. I then looked on TEA’s, Texas Education Agency’s, website

at the “blueprint” for the math test. This broke down how many questions from each

objective would be tested. To look at the blueprint go to, click on

The Student Assessment Division link on the right hand side of the screen. A new screen

will appear and you need to scroll down to Teachers and Administrators. Once on the

new page, look under Test Development and click on TAKS Blueprints.

       After assessing the skills information I began to look for resources to go along

with my teaching curriculum. I looked for math workbooks, fun books, websites, and

general “idea” books. I came up with a nice store of helpful resources from which I

could pull. I will list these after we go through the objectives.

       After looking at the blueprint it is obvious that Objective 1, alone, carries the

majority of the weight, covering one fourth of the test. Eleven out of forty- four questions

come from this objective. When looking at the TAKS Informatio n Booklet released in

January 2002 it states,

       In elementary and middle school, Objective 1 receives more emphasis because the

       included TEKS provide the foundation for mathematics necessary to build

       students’ fluency with numbers so that they can succeed with higher- level

       mathematics. This objective includes place value, comparison of numbers,

       addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and estimation. The progression

       from grade to grade increases from whole numbers to fractions to decimals to

       integers, and within these groups, from smaller, simple forms of the numbers to

       large, more complex forms. ( p.69)

Therefore, mastering Objective 1 is essential.

       Objectives 2, 3, and 4 each have seven questions on the test. Being equally

important they cover patterns, relationships, algebraic reasoning, geometry, spatial

reasoning, and measurement. When mastered, these three objectives act as a “power

house” covering approximately fifty percent of the test.

       Objective 5, which deals with probability and statistics, seems small in

importance compared to the other objectives, but its relevance is there. It is tested on

only four questions out of forty-four. It is the pack of dynamite. It is small, but it carries

a large explosion. In Objective 5 the students need to be able to read charts and graphs

and translate that information into a fraction, percent, or other number. Occasionally they

take the information and put it into a graph, needing to know the differences in the types

of graphs. They also learn to find the median, mode, range, and mean in this objective.

The student is showing that he/she can read data and translate it to find an answer.

         I refer to Objective 6 as the “silent killer”. It accounts for about fifteen percent of

the test, covering mathematical processes and tools. The students need to be able to use

reasoning and logic skills to read complex story problems and be able to decipher the

correct answer. Mastering this objective is difficult for our students. Thus, the “silent

killer.” The use of critical thinking is very important for learning these skills. It may be

the last objective, but it needs to be addressed every day in the classroom. I believe that

the lessons taught in this objective are those lifelong skills that our kids will need and use


         It is interesting to look at brain research compared to mathematics and the

objectives. According to a study done by Stanilas Dehaene in May of 1999 that there is

hard evidence that two, quite different, modes of brain activity underlie our inborn

capacity for mathematics (Peterson, 1999). For example, the study indicates that learning

the multiplication table is akin to memorizing a laundry list, where as learning how

numbers relate to each other appears tied to visual intuition about space. The study goes

on to quote a suggestion from Brian Butterworth of the University College London in

England that mathematical ability results from the integration of two nonnumerical

circuits in the brain. One is the left frontal lobe, which controls linguistic representations

of exact numerical values, and the other involves the parietal lobes, which control

visuospatial representations of approximate quantities. The findings suggest that

understanding relationships among numbers involves some sort of spatial tool, such as

visualizing a number line. Such visual aids may be important sources of mathematical

intuition (Peterson, 1999).

        The Frontal Cortex seems very important in brain development related to

mathematics. Another study by Dr. Phillip David Zelazo, Professor of Psychology, of the

University of Toronto looked closely at the frontal cortex and the executive function. It

shows that the frontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to evolve and reach

maturity. The frontal cortex develops rapidly in early childhood, with important changes

occurring at particular ages (end of first year of life, between 3 and 6, and around

puberty), and then continues to develop into adulthood (Zelazo, 2005).

        From looking at the brain studies, our students, ten and eleven year old fifth

graders, unknowingly, are still forming the frontal cortex of their brain. The skills of

reasoning, logic, and computation are still being formed in the ongoing brain

development. The ability to reason being the idea of Objective 6, is crucial for our

students, but yet their brain is in the beginning stages of developing this skill. Therefore

we need to exercise this skill as much as possible. We, as teachers, need to help the

students develop their thinking abilities to better equip them for the higher level, critical

thinking skills.

        The key to performing well on the TAKS test is being prepared and covering your

TEKS. In order for my students to be prepared I use a variety of materials in my

classroom. On a daily basis I begin my lesson with a TAKS warm- up, using TAKS

Master or Motivation Math. We will look at 3-4 questions over an objective that has

already been taught. Motivation Math is a good source because it has homework and

assessment pages built in weekly. Then we move on to our lesson for the day. I use my

adopted textbook, Scott Foresman- Addison Wesley as a guide. The students rarely look

at their books due to the “busyness” of the pages; they watch and interact with me. If we

do not use our “math” book we will use our Measuring Up book, which is a great source

of TAKS style questions. From time to time once we’ve learned and mastered an

objective I will have a day where the kids work with a partner and complete the

“Building Stamina” section as a good review or assessment. Often we write a short entry

in our math journal. I use this journal to help relate what we are learning in math to the

real world. Every week we have morning rotations and one of the rotations is to work at

the computer. I will leave their assignment in a folder near the computers and the kids

work independently while I work with a small group at the horseshoe table. Below I

have listed some of the websites that my students interact with to practice their math


                                     Math Websites:

         www.aplus – works on math facts, flashcards, multiplication,

             o games – Matho, Hidden Picture, Concentration, Planet Blaster

             o Worksheets – good practice on fractions, facts, counting money

     - interactive game pages, review of almost everything

     - brain games, also good source for gifted and

          talented classroom

     - fractions, decimals, geometry, lots more

 - general math, money, time

 - teachers may pick a certain TAKS objective to


 - a fun website that teaches the kids about

    finances, having a job, and paying the bills; this is a good we bsite for

    decision making, adding and subtracting

 - a fun we bsite for to play games on – all areas

 - real world math challenges, game type

 - practice past year assessments online

 - fraction tutorial and practice

   www.inte - 5th grade skill builders, almost if not

    everything is covered on this site

                       Resources to use in the classroom:

   Motivation Math

   Measuring Up

   TAKS Master

   TEA Website:

   Journal pages

   Menu Math

                            5th Grade Math TAKS Objectives

                            QUICK REFERENCE OF SKILLS

OBJECTIVE 1                                OBJECTIVE 2
place value                                patterns
decimals thru thousandths                  diagrams
multiply/divide                            number sentences
estimation                                 prime and composite numbers
add/subtract decimals                      common factors
add/subtract 6 digit numbers
work with 3 or more addends
equivalent fractions
compare fractions
add/subtract fractions

OBJECTIVE 3                                OBJECTIVE 4
parallel lines                             volume
perpendicular lines                        length
shapes/solids                              perimeter and area
congruent                                  weight and capacity
ordered pairs                              time
coordinate points                          temperature
transfigurations- translation,             relationships with units of measure
rotation, and reflection

OBJECTIVE 5                                OBJECTIVE 6
fractions and probability                  tables
predictions                                guess and check
line graph                                 work backwards
data tables/graphs                         fractions/decimals
graph data                                 draw pictures
solve problems                             act out
                                           story problems

                                JOURNAL TOPICS

   I intended to attach copies of our math journal pages, but I had created those on

printshop. When I attempted to move them into my word file it did not work. So I

will explain some of our pages to you and give you an idea.

Journal 1: Today we learned about_________________________________. I can

use this at home by:__________________________________________________.

Journal 2: When I grow up I plan to go to college and become a

_______________________. I can use these math skills in my new

job:______________, ____________________, _____________________.

Journal 3: Today we worked on addition and subtraction of large numbers. Circle

when you might use these later in life: checkbook, buying a car, buying a house,

renting a house, paying bills, planning a vacation

*Tell me about one circled item.


Peterson, Ivars (May 29, 1999). Math Trek: Brainy Figuring. Science News, Retrieved

       June 15, 2006, from


Texas Assessment f Knowledge and Skill; Information Booklet (Mathematics ed., Vol.

       Grades 3-6).

Zelazo, Phillip David Ph.D. (July 29, 2005). Brain gro wth and the development of

       executive function. About Kids Health, Retrieved June 15, 2006, from


Shared By:
Description: 5Th Grade Thinking Skills Worksheets document sample