Prepping our student for the “test” is a necessary evil. I could dive into reasons why I don’t agree with the testing, which I know you agree, but I will skip them to save us both. With that said, I have compiled resources through the years that help with preparing my students for what they will have to endure.
Leading up to testing, I like to read picture books to my students. I read to them every day, so this is a continuation of what I do and helps to relieve test anxiety. Here are a few of my favorites:
Testing Miss Malarky
The Anit-Test Anxiety Society
The Big Test (Mrs. Hartwell’s Classroom Adventures)
This is something new that I’m starting this year. They are compliment cards. So, instead of candy motivations, I’m planning on giving my students compliment cards before, during, and after each session of the tests that they take. Not only does it prevent me from having to purchase candy and other gadgets, but it also does away with doing their best for candy and other junk food. You can grab this freebie in my free resource library.
Cut Practice Test to Pieces
One of the things that I’m doing right now, is cutting practice tests into pieces. You know those released items from state tests? Yep, those are the ones. Last week, I focused on ELA. Before beginning test prep, I divided my students into teams that I felt they would benefit the most from. Next, I made copies of the reading passages. I made one copy of the text for each student to read. Then, I made enough copies of the corresponding questions for each team (just for variety, I copied the questions on colored paper). I then cut the questions so that I had question slips.
When it was time for practice, I gave all students read the reading passage to read on their own. Once everyone had read the passage, my students met with their teams. I then passed out one test question. My main focus for ELA was to dissect the question so that they would know what was actually being asked and to practice different test-taking strategies. For example, one question asked about point of view. We read the question, briefly reviewed point of view, and then used the process of elimination to narrow the answers down to two. As a team, students determined the answer and then we came together as a class to share our results. You wouldn’t believe how engaged my students have been and they have truly been excited to practice!
Test Prep Vocabulary
In order to prepare my students, we review important words that they may encounter while making connections with what they already know. My students know that when they see a Venn Diagram, they place similarities in the center and differences on the outside. We have practiced this skill all year. What I want to make sure they know is if they are given a constructed response question and asked to compare and contrast they know what this means. I want them to become familiar with the vocabulary and make the connection that when they use a Venn Diagram, they are comparing and contrasting.
I have compiled a list of 24 words that I think will benefit my students and created a Test Prep Vocabulary Pack. It’s a freebie that you can find in my free resource library! I hope that you find it useful and it that allows you a little more time to do what you need to prepare your students for success!
Preparing Students for Technology Enhanced Items
With the rise of technology, standardized testing is not the same today as it used to be. The biggest hurdle is familiarizing students with the tools that they need to be able to use within the test itself. Familiarize your students with the technology-enhanced items with this free flipbook. You can find it here.
Interactive Notebook for Test Prep Vocabulary
Did you know that researchers estimate 85% of achievement test scores are based on the vocabulary of the standards? Now that right there is a crazy thought, but makes sense!
This is why I created the Interactive Notebook for Test Prep Vocabulary!
Students will interact and become experts with 42 of the most critical verbs found with the Common Core State Standards. These words are not specific to any one subject area, which makes them versatile. The words are not grade specific because they are appropriate for a wide range of grade levels.
You can learn more HERE!
Baseball Test Prep and Transformation Kit
Are you a 3rd, 4th, or 5th-grade teacher teaching math? The baseball themed test prep activities are perfect for you!
Students will be highly engaged and won’t even realize that they are participating in test prep! Within the resource, I provide a step-by-step approach that I follow, but you may find a way that suits you better!
Every math standard is addressed. Students answer multiple-choice and short answer math questions to earn tickets for teamwork, perseverance, efficiency, showing work, and using test-taking strategies. Then tickets can be used during game day!
Find details for each grade level below: