As much as we hate them, they are inevitable. Standardized tests are a part of our job and even though we know as teachers, that it’s not the best for our students, we don’t have a choice. We DO have a choice, however, in how we can prepare our students. So when it comes to crunch time and you’re trying to squeeze in as much review as possible, don’t let your 3rd grade math test prep get boring – have fun doing Math Boot Camp!
3rd Grade Math Test Prep Reminders
the ‘steps’ that they have taught their students on how to break down math word problems. For example, if you use the CUBES strategy, you can review each letter and have them write down the steps and reminders on this page. It’s blank so it can work with whatever math word problem strategy you are focusing on!
Have your students refer back to this page throughout the next few weeks as they solve their 3rd grade math test prep word problems! You can also use this page to help give feedback on which step(s) the student is doing well on and which step(s) the student needs to focus on.
3rd Grade Math Test Prep Tracking
The next part of the Math Boot Camp is the tracking page. Before we begin day one’s problem, we first go over the tracking page to explain how this page should be filled in.
Students will begin by setting a goal for themselves of what percentage of the problems they hope to get correct. If percentages are too difficult, I have the students write down the number of problems out of 20 that they wish to get correct. Example: 18/20. This gets them motivated and wanting to strive to work hard and reach their own personal goals.
Then I explain that each day, the students will get the chance to read and solve the 3rd grade math test prep problem independently. Later in the day, we will go over the problem as a class. If the student is correct, they get to color in the square under ‘correct’. If incorrect, they color in the square under ‘incorrect’. This allows them to keep track each day of how they are doing, working towards their goal.
We also discuss the honesty system and how it doesn’t help them if they are lying on their paper – Growth Mindset and learning from our mistakes is important is the learning process!
3rd Grade Math Test Prep Problems
Finally, we’re ready for day one! Students will solve the problem sometime during the day on their own. Then at the beginning of math class, the class will go over the problem together, modeling the
problem, discussing misconceptions, etc. Overall – it takes about 5 minutes to do! Students will color in their box on the data tracking page and then you’re done. There is a line on the left hand side of each problem for the student to write the date that the problem was solved so you can keep track.
Math Boot Camp was designed to be a ‘month long’ activity that slowly gets us ready for the big standardized test. Instead of spending tons of time in one week to prepare – we spread it out over the course of a month (usually February) and are able to focus more in depth on the word problems and also giving the teacher time to talk individually with students who are struggling.
The best part of Math Boot Camp, is that at the end of the month, when all of the problems have been solved – the class competes in an obstacle course as a way to celebrate all of their hard work! I usually purchase fun dog tags to give to the students after the obstacle course. It’s super fun and the kids love it! If you’re looking for Math Boot Camp for 4th Grade, you can get it too!