tips for test prep

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HeatherY, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Mar 17, 2010

    Any tips for making 6 days of test prep (3 hours a day) fun? Or any tips for teaching testing skills to 3rd graders?
     
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  3. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Mar 18, 2010

    What kinds of tests -- state assessments?
     
  4. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Mar 18, 2010

    Personally, I'm opposed to this kind of cramming, especially for elementary students. Nobody seriously believes that information acquired this way has significant retention and in young children it's not even very effective at boosting scores for the test immediately at hand. Even if it were, I'd oppose it because it does not promote long-term understanding and retention. I always taught what needed to be taught, and in the relatively rare (at that time) events of standardized tests coming along, we just took a break from what we were doing all year to take the test. My kids did great.

    As for testing skills, the most basic is knowing when to guess on a multiple choice question. It makes for a nice little math lesson.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 18, 2010

    For this age group, nothing is accomplished through cramming for a specific test three hours daily for six days that can't be better accomplished throughout the school year by regular practice in answering the question, "How do we know?"

    Grover and I disagree, I believe, as to the utility of standardized tests, but I suspect we agree that the more the test is a focus of stress and hysteria, the less likely it is that test scores will reflect kids' actual knowledge.
     
  6. dianejw

    dianejw Companion

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    Mar 19, 2010

    Hi Heather! I teach fifth grade, and I believe there is a lot teachers can do in the final weeks before the test. In fact I think it is a disservice to not use every possible minute to help prepare the students. Doing so actually helps relieve stress for students because they know they are going into the test prepared the best they can be. I just had my students write on an index card any math goals they were still struggling to understand. Their reflections were amazing and gave me great insight on what I needed to review with them. I try to make it as fun as possible by turning review questions into a jeopardy game on the smartboard. You can go to jeopardy lab online to create them. The students love playing. I also create the review questions in the format of the game "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" and bring in surprised guest contestants.
    Another fun review game that can be made for any subject is the "I Have Who Has Game." Since I teach math I take a strand like measurement conversions and start by writing on the first index card...I have the first card. Who has the number of centimeters in a meter? Then the person with the answer stands up, reads the answer and then their question. You can put in as many questions as you want with the final card's question saying, Who has the first card? My students love this game and it is a quick review. A final thought...we have our students sign a contract that reviews all the test taking strategies. It is great because it basically reminds them of what they need to do to be successful on the test. I hope these ideas help.
     
  7. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Mar 20, 2010

    I have found that "Test Prep" is extremely important in raising test scores. I should mention that I am a 3rd grade teacher. In my state the testing begins in 3rd and so much of their success is based on them knowing HOW to take a test and not just knowing the content of the test.

    Here's some of what I do:

    QAR - Teaching them about question/answer relations is huge. When they can identify if a question is asking them to find an answer that is 'right there' vs needing to 'think and search' for it they will do better.

    Prove it! - It comes as a surprise to most of my kids initially that the answer is actually in the text and that they can go back and find it. I think they believe they need to read, remember and answer the question. I have them write down the paragraph number next to the question to identify where the answer was.

    Teach them to create organizers - In our state anyway, they may write all over the test booklet. I teach them to create a graphic organizer in the book BEFORE answering any short answer and open response questions.

    MATH
    For math my big thing is to stress that they need to solve each problem two ways, show their work and eliminate answers by proving they are wrong.

    Good Luck!
     

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