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Proactive Preparation: Secondary Mathematics Standards of Learning Tests

It’s that time of year again – time for targeted and effective instructional remediation to prepare students for Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments.  How do we decide the skill areas in which our math students need remediation?  Once those skills have been identified, how do we provide effective remediation that is more than just repetition of the classroom lessons to which they have already been exposed?

Fmathsymbolsmallrequent formative assessments should be used in the classroom to collect data on students’ skill progress as well as their standards-based performance.  Assessment results should drive the specific instructional focus for your students on a daily basis.  In addition to classroom data, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides data on statewide test results on math, reading, and science SOL assessments, compiled by subject into presentation form and entitled Student Performance Analysis.  This analysis is a useful starting point to prioritize content in preparation for statewide testing.  The Student Performance Analysis identifies general areas of weakness in each content area, and is posted on the VDOE website the spring following the close of a testing administration.

As you prepare for remediation in areas of need for your students, the resources described and linked below will help you get started.

Resource Link


VDOE –  Student Performance Analysis Presentations providing example questions/problems that address the standards on which students performed the most inconsistently during tests administered from spring 2012 to spring 2014.
VDOE – Enhanced Scope and Sequence Sample Lesson Plans The search screen for sample math lessons allows you to search by grade/course, or first by grade/course and then by standard. Each lesson targets a specific SOL and details necessary materials, essential vocabulary, suggested assessments, and strategies for differentiation, along with other content.
VDOE – Algebra I Vocabulary Cards A PDF of essential Algebra 1 vocabulary in the form of cards to create a word wall. All cards provide a definition or example, as well as a graphic or visual.
VDOE – Open Word Sorts 

Closed Words Sorts

Videos demonstrating how to instruct students using two vocabulary strategies that may be used in the math classroom.
VDOE – Guidelines for Educating Students With Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) Page 23 of this PDF document, under Mathematics Strategies, lists strategies recommended for use with students with a specific learning disability in math as well as students identified as struggling learners.
VDOE – Instructional Videos for Teachers Videos categorized by strands demonstrating ways to instruct students on specific content using a hands-on or visual approach.
MathVIDS – Video Instructional Development Source Videos of effective instructional strategies and approaches recommended for students that struggle in math. Production of the videos was supported by funds provided through the VDOE.

For additional resources, visit the VDOE Mathematics website.

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