Redesigning Geometry Class for SAT Success

In the Spring of 2016, the SAT rolled out the new "redesigned" test. Their intention was to better align with the skills and thinking that students will need for future college and career readiness. When practice tests started rolling out, we were blown away. There is way less geometry (bummer) and way more statistics (yipeee!). A typical 58 question SAT test now has about 3 geometry questions and about 8-10 statistics questions.

Redesigning Geometry at East Kentwood High School

Our geometry teachers saw the writing on the wall and fully embraced this opportunity to make changes that would help our students towards SAT success. We decided to eliminate some less important geometry content (quadrilateral hierarchy, triangle centers, etc) to make space for 5 weeks of statistics at the end of the year! Lindsey and Luke developed statistics lessons that fit into 4 units:


(1) Probability

(2) One Variable Data

(3) Two Variable Data

(4) Sampling and Inference


All of the lessons were designed using the Experience First, Formalize Later (EFFL) teaching approach which made the content easily accessible for our sophomores.


Helping Geometry Teachers Get Ready

Our geometry teachers felt really good about teaching some of this content (line of best fit, slope, y-intercept no problem!), but were definitely nervous about other parts (conditional probability, residuals, margin of error). We decided we needed to do some training. We met after school once a week for 4 weeks to help get them ready. By the end of the training, the geometry teachers felt confident that they could help students towards SAT statistics success.


Results

Geometry students tend to really enjoy the shift to the statistics lessons at the end of the year. We know this is partly because the content is more exciting (we're a little biased), but we also hope that the engaging contexts and the EFFL teaching philosophy is partially responsible. As for SAT scores...students from East Kentwood High School continue to outperform other schools similar to ours. Check out our large positive residual!


Is your district looking to do the same thing?

Luke and Lindsey now offer a full-day workshop for training math teachers to use this 5-week SAT Statistics module. Let us know if you are interested in having us come to your school or district!

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