I am new to third grade. The teacher before me left copies of the tests he created for our reading program. I really feel like they do a great job of covering the grammar skills, comprehension and phonics covered throughout the week. I like that I don't have to give students separate tests in grammar, reading, phonics, etc. Each of the tests is in a very similar format. Each week the students have to insert vocabulary words next to their definition provided on the page and then write a sentence using that vocabulary word. Each week they also must proofread sentences. I had thought that this consistency would really help students to become more independent with their test-taking. So far, I've been wrong. I have 3 students reading on a beginning second grade level and find that I have to read each question to them multiple times. If I read the questions and prompt them, one seems to get almost a perfect score each time while the other is average. If I didn't read the tests to them however I know they would receive an F. I don't feel right making a student miss a question simply because he or she cannot read it and the majority of my students have no problem reading the tests. The first week I quickly read through the test and then students began working. Grades weren't good but it was the first week taking this sort of test. Next, I read the test to them question by question and provided time for them to answer each question (the kids who wanted to move on could and for the most part they were responsible with this). Grades were better although i still had students not following directions on a few sections. Earlier this week I showed the test on the SmartBoard and indicated what I had seen a few students do (just circle a sentence when i really needed corrected, rewrite the vocab word and definition, etc.) and worked with the students to create responses that would receive full credit. On test day, I didn't allow students to take out a pencil until I had read the entire test on the SmartBoard and had them follow along with their fingers. I still had students say, "What am I supposed to do here?" The same 2 or 3 as usual said they didn't understand the question. I reread it to them and they were able to provide the correct response. Then, I had 2 students who still missed thing we had talked about just before the test (they answered the question completely wrong). This doesn't seem to happen just on tests. If this were the case, I would try to change the language but my students cannot read and follow simple directions on grammar pages. I'm just not used to this neediness perhaps. I'm used to my students being a little more independent and able to at least read the directions first and then attempt to do the assignment. With this class I have students who don't even try to read the directions (sometimes it's because they are low readers) and instead come to me, then when I read and explain they return back to their seats and I find the assignment has not been completed as it should be. Does anyone have any suggestions?