Reintroduce mathematical material in a range of global contexts...
By working through a range of explorative tasks, your MYP students will understand what it means to investigate mathematically...
Support from Aidan Sproat-Clements
The first MYP eAssessments take place in May 2016 and if your school registered before October, students will be able to participate in the assessments and work towards the internationally recognized MYP certificate. But how can you go about optimally preparing learners to perform in the eAssessments?
There are three parts to the eAssessments in mathematics:
1. Short and medium response questions covering a range of mathematical techniques
2. Exploration of real-life problems centered on one of the global contexts
3. An investigation
Those familiar with the MYP Assessment Objectives will recognize these as responding to the needs of assessment criteria A, D and B respectively. Objective C (Communication) is assessed throughout the exam.
Effective preparation strategies
A number of strategies are crucial when preparing for the eAssessments. The most important is that students are familiar with the exact meanings of the IB command terms. For example, they must understand that find and write down have different expectations, or know the difference between verify and justify.
To prepare students for the real-life aspects of the eAssessment, it is important that they are used to seeing questions asked in a wide variety of contexts. Everyday learning should aim to reintroduce mathematical material in a range of global contexts – this is crucially important. Learners need to be flexible and able to respond to a variety of different contexts and interpret them mathematically.
The final component of the eAssessment is an investigation. This is something students typically find difficult in examination situations. You can help your learners tackle this section by ensuring robust understanding of the related concepts of pattern, generalization and justification. By working through a range of investigative tasks linked to these concepts, students gain an understanding of what it means to investigate mathematically: to gather information, to form conjectures, to verify ideas and to justify claims.
Resources should clearly explain the IB command terms. You should also look for thorough integration of the global contexts, with contextual problems spread across learning material. This will enable students to more confidently respond to a mix of contexts and relate them to mathematical principles.