About the program

This program was designed to review every anchor, or eligible content topic, on the Algebra I Keystone Exam.  This program is different from other commercially available tools because it is designed to be flexible.  The program can be used as a stand-alone course, in conjunction with other remediation tools (including computer-based programs), within an Algebra I course, or as a remediation tool based on individual student needs.  The comprehensive pretest, divided into two parts by module, can be used to determine which topics need to be revisited by the student.  For use in remediation or as a stand-alone courses, Promethean flipcharts are provided for each lesson.  Student monitoring sheets allow instructors to track student progress throughout the program.  The questions on the pretests and post-tests are aligned to each anchor using the same wording and rigor as the Keystone Exams.  Lessons and activities to improve test-taking techniques are provided to maximize student scores by reducing common errors and teaching test-taking strategies.  Strategies are included to properly solve and explain answers to constructed-response questions, reduce test anxiety, and eliminate multiple-choice options.   The test taking strategies will benefit students taking the SATs and classroom assessments in multiple disciplines, as well as post-secondary entrance exams. 

Each of the 26 anchor lessons provides a list of the anchors addressed in the lesson, two pretest questions, a list of vocabulary terms for students to define in the program’s dictionary of terms, instructions on how to complete each task, practice exercises, and two posttest questions.  The lessons provide examples of how to solve the newly formatted multiple-choice questions that are included on the Keystone Exams.

The dictionary of terms acquaints students with the terminology used on the exams.  Each lesson outlines the vocabulary required in that lesson.   Calculator and test taking tips are provided throughout the lessons.  Additional calculator support for the TI-73 Explorer calculator and the TI-83/TI-84 graphing calculator families are included.  Given the increased emphasis on constructed-response questions, over 50 constructed-response questions, aligned to each of the 26 lessons, are included.  One set of open-ended questions meets the academic rigor of the Keystone Exams while the second set of questions includes more complex values and questions.  Specific activities are also provided to teach students how to answer constructed-response exam questions and how these questions are graded. 

This program was built upon the platform of a similar program for the 11th Grade PSSA Mathematics Exam.  The 11th Grade Mathematics PSSA Preparation Program was proven to significantly increase scores on the 2011-2012 battery of exams for underperforming students.  Both programs were written by a doctor of education who studied deficiencies in high school student study skills and focused on improving academic performance in students from low-socioeconomic homes. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Kost has taught at the middle school, high school, and post-secondary levels since 2001. During his tenure, he has written for Texas Instruments and Coaster Dynamix, as well as complete high school and college curricula in statistics, remedial math, algebra, and computer science. Dr. Kost earned his doctorate from Grand Canyon University in Organziational Leadership. He studied the impact of ninth grade on student success and developed an induction program to ease the transition for students who receive a free or reduced lunch. Many of these tools are included in the Algebra I Keystone Exam Preparation Program. Dr. Kost also freelances as a writer for Think Through Math and writes other educational materials based upon his research.

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Have a question about the program? Need to know how to best prepare your students? Contact Us.

Address: PO Box 100 Presto, PA 15142
Telephone: 412.229.7248
E-mail: drkost@algebrakeystone.com