Teachers want to know what questions students are answering correctly and what questions they are answering incorrectly. But, how much information does the broad “correct/incorrect” category really provide? A large percentage of students answering a question incorrectly can indicate that these students haven’t mastered the skill being tested. However, with math, a subject that builds on itself, it can also indicate a learning gap in a previously taught skill that is preventing current skill mastery.
Students answer thousands of questions on Knowre everyday. As they are working, Knowre collects their performance data: correctly answered questions, incorrectly answered questions, and exactly where (at the skill and sub-skill level) students are answering questions incorrectly. Knowre’s student data is a valuable resource for teachers – helping them pinpoint exactly where their students are struggling. However, beyond just the classroom or school level, we wondered, what can Knowre’s data show about math education on a national level?
To answer this question we pooled together student performance data from across the country and looked at which Knowre practice questions had the highest number of incorrect answer attempts. The millions of data points (students have answered millions of questions on Knowre!) revealed several enlightening trends. After connecting the wrongly answered questions with the core math concepts being tested, we identified categories of skills that students, on a national level, struggle with the most.
In this inaugural blog of our data insight series, we share the first category: graphing linear equations.
Graphing, as a visual representation of mathematical concepts and equations, gives many students trouble because it challenges them to “see” information in a new way. Mastering graphing is integral – not only for math class, but also for science class and the social sciences where data is frequently represented in a visual manner.
To support instruction around linear graphing, we identified several foundational skills that students need in order to be successful at graphing and created a resource packet to help evaluate your students’ “graphing readiness.”
In our downloadable Linear Graphing packet, you’ll find:
- Graphing Warmup: Give this worksheet to students as a Do Now or Exit Ticket to identify what foundational skills students may be struggling with. For example, if students have not mastered subtraction with positive and negative integers, they will likely have problems calculating the slope when given two points.
- Graphing Warmup Answer Key
- Using the Data Guide: We paired each warmup question the skill being tested in the question. Reteach or review these foundational skills before diving into linear graphing.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be providing resources to drive student success on other categories of skills they often struggle with. Have tips on teaching linear graphing, share them with us on Twitter or Facebook!