How are your students going to do on the NYS SS Test ... in 5 school days?!!!!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by ms_teacher, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. ms_teacher

    ms_teacher Companion

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    Nov 2, 2007

    I am a first year teacher in the NYC public schools. Our first state test is coming up on Nov. 14th & 15th!!!:eek: We have been giving them practice tests (3 so far)... we have Test Prep 1.5 hrs a day 4 times a week and Saturday Academy!!!!!! Still I don't think our kids are going to do well:unsure:Their essays need LOTS and LOTS of work!!!

    How do you prepare your students??
    What strategy do you use to teach them to write the essay?

    Any :help: is appreciated!!!!!!!!

    THX...
     
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  3. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Nov 2, 2007

    I know that in our school we also do test prep alot... and the kids are constantly learning how to highlight information and use POST -IT notes to jot down notes. Teachers tend to model how to write a good essay.... on an overhead transparency. Allowing for the teacher to focus on certain skill areas.

    Still, I see a lot of essays that lack spelling, punctuation and a logical flow.

    What have you been doing to teach strategies?
     
  4. mrsjam525

    mrsjam525 Rookie

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    Nov 3, 2007

    I have been preparing for the NYS SS test by giving my students the DBQ books of past test. Go over with them how to respond to the question and writing the essay based on the document. I have been using past test and have the students answer 4-6 questions as their do now and go over the content with them. My school also has test prep but was only open to the first twenty students
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 3, 2007

    An hour and a half of test prep a day, four days a week?? Good heavens. As to the essays, I'd spend a lot more time on essay writing and defending one's thoughts as skills worth having and a lot less time on these as specific test skills.
     
  6. heymrsp

    heymrsp Rookie

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    Nov 11, 2007

    Its my understanding that section one (multiple choice)is weighted heavier than section 2(the dbq). We went through past tests as a team last year and pulled the vocab words that they came up with most often. we worked really hard on practicing that vocab last year and this year. That helped some. We also created a Powerpoint Jeopardy game using past test questions and questions pulled from prep materials. The students play the games on laptops with a partner.

    As for the dbq, we model, model, model. We do them together, we do them in small groups, and then the students do them individually. We look at overheads of examples of what a 4, a 3, a 2 and a 1 essay look like. The kids know what should and shouldn't be there, and how to use the information they are given in the directions to write a introduction and conclusion. We honestly don't make a huge deal out of it at my school otherwise, but we do practice. I think in general, that it is quite alot to ask of a 5th grader two months into the school year.

    As for the conventions of writing, we were lucky enough to see Eric Cork last month and he had some great strategies and tips for us to teach the kids to remember to use what they already know(indenting, capitals, word variety, sticking to the topic, etc) so that was a nice tie in during the essay modeling. He is coming to my classroom to do a presentation later in the year, so the kids are really excited to see him and have bought in to what he does, which pays off in their writing across the curriculum.
     
  7. ms_teacher

    ms_teacher Companion

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    Nov 12, 2007

     

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