Have you ever noticed that some students that excel on multiple choice math tests struggle with constructed response assessments that require them to show all of their thinking? This is our first year taking constructed response assessments and I have learned that I have a lot of kids just like this in my classroom. (And even more that didn’t excel at either at the beginning of the year!) Early on, I knew I needed to come up with something to help them remember to show all of their thinking (and then some) on constructed response/word problems. With that, the acronym LOVE was born. You can read more about it here.
L: Label everything! Your visuals, your equation, anything you can put a label on!
O: Our Thinking. For this the students turn the question into a sentence with a blank for the answer. This is huge for them! They know they have to do this first. If they can’t do it, they have to re-read that problem and break it down until they know exactly what is being asked. This part really helps them make sense of the problem and check their answer for reasonableness. Also, it makes sure they actually answer the question! Our current rubric takes off a point for precision if they don’t actually state the answer in words, pulling it back to the problem.
V: Visuals. Our constructed response assessments are on the Fraction domains of common core so visuals are so important.
E: Equations. They must show an equation to represent their visual or to show how they got their answer.
This acronym has worked wonders with my students this year. They know to show the LOVE on any word problem I give them, even morning work. As evidence, we just finished our 2nd constructed response assessment for the year and over half of my kids more than tripled their previous scores. We are talking going from a score of 1 out of 20 to a 14 out of 20. That is HUGE!
As I mentioned above, they show the LOVE on all of their assignments in math. Here are some images from their morning work. Check out all of that writing, drawing, labeling….I LOVE IT!
How do you prepare your students for constructed response math assessments?