Action Research investigate the most effective way to complete and use test toolkits on summative assessments, which will show how students learn, and Grow their mathematical literacy

  • Eric Smith, Special Education
  • Learning Strategist-Math Department
  • Stoughton High School
  • 608-877-5759

Initial Background Findings that inform your question

  • Students didn't take their own initiative to use Test Toolkit
  • Students thought of it as an extra assignment, not a tool for continued learning.
  • Not all students took advantage of the toolkit

Wonderings: How can I get my students to perform better on their summative assessments with the use of Test Toolkits in preparing and having them use them on the summative assessments?


September - October Gather baseline data and assess the results. Practice and test methods of using Test Toolkits within daily teachings and units

November - February - Carry out the strategies that deal with completion of Test Tookits. Supported students in AHR, math lab, learning center, math classes

April - Analyze data gathered and draw conclusions

April - May - Create final project to report findings and share with others

How does it relate to the district plan? 21st Century Focus Area of Learning:

  • Mathematical literacy collaboration by Math teachers 6-12.
  • Differentiate instruction based on student’s individual needs.

"Another useful strategy is providing handouts. These might take the form of incomplete outlines or fill-in-the-blank statements completed with information presented in the lecture. Either type of handout can easily be made from the teacher's lecture outline. These tools require students to listen carefully for key information and fill in the missing parts."

"students learned better using problems and lessons that broke ideas into small steps backed with continual reinforcement. The result was deeper understanding. Furthermore, the students enjoyed figuring out the investigations rather than just being told"

“There is, though, a growing body of research into brain function and language acquisition that says students learn less on a keyboard.”

“ the students affirm that they are taking more and better notes by hand.”

“Everything we write is a potential learning experience. Writing is a systemic process for learning essential meanings” (Paul and Elder 2007, 8)

Conclusion: You can provide materials for students but they have to be engaged in the Test Toolkit and take ownership to understand how to use it on the summative assessment. Taking time within the unit as well as time during the review of the lesson and dedicating that time to write down key topics for the unit is most beneficial.

Next Steps: Continue to communicate with all Algebra I teachers so all students are getting the same message. Push out Test Toolkit via IC and teacher websites.


Created with images by jimmiehomeschoolmom - "Math Phobia" • Dylan231 - "Math Dances"

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