Test Reflections

Maths Pathway has a test reflection step built into the process of the learning cycle. This step can seem trivial to the home user but it is perhaps the most important step for your child to become ‘good at maths’.

Maths Pathway has determined that one of the biggest barriers to students doing maths well is not their underlying maths ability. Rather it is the approach they take to learning in general and maths in particular. Moving a student from a poor approach to learning to a good one is the paramount reason for introducing a test reflection into the learning cycle.

In a school, the test reflection usually involved sitting down briefly with the teacher and thinking about what worked well in the last cycle and what could improve. None of this discussion involves going over the mistakes in the test. It is all about what the student did during the cycle to help them learn the maths and determining something they can try to improve on in the next cycle.

A good example of this comes from a common behaviour pattern in students where the students do not correct their work or fail to redo a question that is wrong. The result is nearly always that the student does poorly on the next test. Here is how the reflection session with a teacher would go:

  • The student, with their workbook in hand, sits down with the teacher.
  • The teacher views their test result and inspects their workbook.  (At this point the teacher will have seen that student hasn’t corrected or redone incorrect answers.)
  • The student is given a chance to comment on their own learning (it is better if the student can reflect well on their own learning if they can).
  • Through this discussion it is agreed that the workbook hasn’t been done well and that there might be a link between that and the poor test result.
  • Together the teacher and student set a learning goal for the next cycle and write it down. E.g. “I will make sure that I correct after each question and redo the question if I get it wrong.”
  • After the next cycle of learning, the teacher and student review the goal from the last cycle and compare the test results to see if it has made a difference to the results. If it has made a difference, the focus can change to a new goal. If it hasn’t made a difference, the goal may need to be modified and tried again in the next cycle.

Using this approach, the student has good feedback from the test on whether the strategy has been successful. If it has been successful, the student is highly motivated to continue the practice. A couple of important things to note about reflections:

  • For a student, who has a poor attitude to maths, it is important to check regularly during the cycle to remind them to keep to their goal.
  • Remember to praise a student who has made an effort to complete the goal. Even if the goal is not successful in improving the results, the student has learnt something.
  • It is best to focus on one goal at a time. Trying to do too many things at once makes it very hard to to all the things well.
  • Goals are equally applicable to students who are doing well on their maths. The idea is that they learn what needs to happen to be a good learning. These skills are then available to them through the rest of their lives.

There is nothing in the reflection process that requires specialist teacher skills. It can be done just as well by parents. There is an article here that outlines the 3 biggest practices that will make a difference to learning. It is a good place to start.

Test Reflections

Completing the reflection

Congratulations on completing your first test. laughing Now you are ready to do your test reflection. 

Like everything in Maths Pathway, the reflection is there to help you with your learning. From research, it seems that people who are very successful at mathematics hate getting things wrong. When they do get something wrong, they go back and work out where they went wrong and change things so that they will not make the same mistake again! To help with this, Maths Pathway has created the reflection.

In the reflection, you are shown each question you got wrong. When you are shown a question you got wrong, here is what you should do:

  • Look at the answer you had and work out where you went wrong. If it was a silly mistake, you can fix it up right away and the answer will be remarked. 
  • If it was a mistake because you really had trouble with the question, then something went wrong with your learning for this module. Try to think about what that something is. Here are some common things that go wrong:
    • I did the module in a rush.
    • I did not correct until the end.
    • I skipped over some questions.
    • There was something I didn’t understand and I just skipped over it.
  • Use the reason things went wrong to set your own goal for the next cycle. For example, if you got questions wrong for a module because you rushed through it, your goal for the next cycle may be something like, “I’m going to take my time to do modules well even if that means I complete fewer modules in the next cycle.”

    When you do your next reflection, think about the goal you set last time. Did it make a difference?


3 hacks to ace maths

3 Hacks to ace maths

Maths Pathway is brilliant at giving you the right maths for you at the right time and it has great tools and videos to help you when you are struggling. But to do really well and become better at maths there are some things that you must do, whether you are using Maths Pathway or another program. Follow these 3 hacks and you will be amazed at how much your results improvewink.

  1. Always use the following method when doing your maths work:
    • Do just one question.
    • Check the answer.
    • If you got the answer wrong, work out what went wrong, and do the question again. Do not go on until you have completed this step.

      Note: This works because it prevents you from making the same mistake over and over (which is what happens when you correct your work at the end). When we do the same thing over and over it starts to stick in the brain and it is hard to undo. People are also very unlikely to go back and redo questions if they wait until the end before checking their work.
  2. Do your work neatly in your workbook.
    Students who do their work in a messy way also tend to make a lot more mistakes when the maths gets a bit harder. This is because numbers, columns, and marks become confused. It also makes it very hard for you to work out where you went wrong and, if you can’t work out where you have gone wrong, then you can’t learn from it.
  3. Do every question.
    Maths Pathway modules are crafted by maths experts. The questions are designed to give you the right amount of work for you to master and remember the concept being taught. Each question you skip weakens this learning.



Completing Tests

The main way we confirm that a student has truly mastered their understanding of the maths that they learn is through the test that they complete every fortnight. This test will be managed by your coordinator, so really all you need to do is sit tight and wait for instructions.

Tests are generated on every second Monday. When it’s time for the test, you will see a “start test” link on you timeline. Follow the instructions to complete the written and online portion of your test.

Once the student completes the online test, it will be automatically marked. Once they complete the printed questions, just scan or take a photo of the test and email it back to your coordinator. They will mark it and let you know when it’s done – that will allow the student to complete their reflection online.

Don’t worry if that sounds complicated – each step will be very obvious as you go through it.

Why don’t you just do all the tests online?

To get a true sense of a student’s abilities and understanding, some things are much better assessed through description or drawing. This allows us to ensure that students have a real understanding of their maths, rather than just learning formulas off by heart.

Completing a module

Completing a Module

Completing work is easy. The most important thing is to answer all questions in a workbook and use the solutions at the bottom of the activity to check your answer. If you get an answer wrong, work out where you went wrong and then redo the question. Click the “Help” button if you get stuck.

 When you’ve completed all the questions in your workbook, just click the Finish button:

This tells the system that you have completed all the questions.

When you do your next checkpoint test, there will be a few questions from this module on that test.

 That’s it! Just keep working a bit each day until you get up to your first test.