Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Timed Tests using Bubble Gum Math

Hello Friends!  My name is Julie Marciniak and I am author of
I am so honored to share my first post with the blogging community here at Classy Collaboration!  I can't tell you how excited I am to be included as a new author to a wonderful network of teachers and fellow educators!
Several weeks ago, I shared a post regarding timed tests in the primary grades, specifically first grade. This is definitely one of those challenging areas for me because the weekly tests I have given for the past 12 years have been lacking incentive and missing the self-reflection component to math fact fluency.  I knew if I was to make it through another semester of weekly timed tests, I had to do something to make this important math concept tangible and reachable for my first graders.
Lucky for me, I have TWO incredible first grade experts (and friends) who have totally changed my opinion of managing these weekly math assessments!
Let me introduce you to Bubble Gum Math.
Christy and Tammy over at Fluttering Through First Grade
have made my job so much easier this year!  

 I was jumping for joy when I was printing these units out!
Then I got on Amazon and ordered a gumball machine!
Gordon Food Service has the gumballs for eight bucks!   
Next up:
Copying the timed tests.
I decided to color-code, so all addition tests are on blue and all subtraction tests are on red (hot pink).
Then, I made divider-tabs (in the corresponding color) to separate each level of tests.
Laminate for durability.

Parents received a WELCOME to BUBBLE GUM Math letter like this-
I also sent home a set of addition fact sheets on coordinating BLUE paper and subtraction fact sheets on red paper.
I made two separate folders for the Answer Keys.

Students will keep track of their gumballs earned and graph growth of weekly tests using their blue Bubble Gum Math folders.

I made color copies of the gumball machines.
One for addition and one for subtraction.
I walked the kids through the steps and process of picking up the correct test(s).  I want the kiddos to be as independent as possible!

These eager-beavers were so stinkin excited!
One minute on the clock, and......

I gave the test in the morning, graded them (easy-peasy) during lunch, and returned the tests to the students in the afternoon.
Students get busy right away and graph their stamina for each test!

The timed tests are out of 15 problems.
If students earned 12 or higher,
I circled the level indicated at the top of the test and made a star above it.  That indicates a PASS score and students can pick up a gumball to add to their gumball machine. 

We are keeping the folders in our desks for now!
If a student does not reach their goal,
they can sign up to take the TEST B during recess the following day.  I will take the higher score of the two.
Here you see a student today signing up to retake subtraction tests during recess tomorrow.
I have set up our "cheetah table" with our Bubble Gum Math supplies.
Gumball Stickers and sharpies-
I keep track of the points earned on these tests using GradePro.
Then I print out a copy and keep it on my clipboard for check in's.
I also have a bag of pennies in there too!
Once students have passed 3 addition (levels), they earn an Award and penny to buy a gumball!
Needless to say, my students are EXTREMELY stoked about this new find! Bubble Gum Math has made taking timed tests
I have created some additional Bubble Gum materials for these units and I am happy to share them with all of my Bubble Gum math fans!  
Click here or on any image to download-



We have also added the Math Fact Fluency to our Focus Wall to remind us to check in on our stamina each week and set goals for the following week!

So, in a nutshell, First Grade Timed Tests are running much more SMOOTHLY this year in Room 102 and now the purpose and understanding behind taking the tests seem to validate students' growth in more meaningful ways!
HOORAY for Bubble Gum Math!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this post, Julie!!! I have their bubble gum math facts pack but haven't busted it out yet! Ha! Thanks for the cute and useful freebies!

    Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade

    Mrs. Wheeler's TPT