Preparing for Testing

Critical Tip of the Month

Stay true to the 20 Essential Components of CHILD. Trust the research behind this proven instructional model.  Continue stations both prior to testing and during testing.  See ideas below to make the most of this time in preparing your students for success.

CHILD Essential Component :  Students work at a variety of stations on a regular basis.

One of the most important things you can do in preparing students for high stakes testing is to keep your classroom structure in place with as few interruptions as possible.

  • Keep students working on standards-based activities right up to testing.
  • Incorporate test-taking strategies within each station.
  • Practice responses that are similar to what will be on standardized tests; fillable forms, short or extended responses, etc.

Intermediate CHILD teachers, be sure to check out practice tests and practice forms in Teacher Resources on the website.

Modify your schedule following testing to fit in station time daily during testing.  Students need time following testing to talk and interact with others.  Incorporate stations that are hands-on and fun to help ease test tension and still maintain the classroom routine.

Test Preparation: Emphasizing Vocabulary through Word Walls

CHILD Essential Component:  Teachers use research-based resources to plan lessons and coordinate instruction.

Vocabulary mastery is a key ingredient for success on standardized tests.  Review your subject-area Word Wall with students this month.  Incorporate frequently used test vocabulary in station activities. Check out Test Strategies for CHILD Stations and Word Wall Test Prep Activities for more ideas.

Teach or review Larry Bell’s “twelve powerful words” that help students understand what the test question is asking them to do. You can even add them to your classroom Word Wall.

Analyze • Compare • Contrast • Describe • Evaluate •Explain • Formulate • Infer • Predict • Summarize • Support • Trace

Plan Positively for Test Prep

Positive attitudes go far in encouraging student success during testing time. Help your students see testing as an opportunity to show what they know.  Use motivational bookmarks and badges. Decorate the room with positive posters.

If required during testing to hide any posted instructional materials, cover them with colorful bulletin board paper adorned with motivational sayings.  Have students come up with sayings, such as, “We are the best math students in the state,” or “We believe we can achieve.”

You ARE the STARS of Project CHILD: Students and Teachers Achieving Remarkable Success! We, at ISI, appreciate all that you do to make your students “shine!

Consider these ideas to keep you on track during test time:

Time                     Allow ample time for students to work in stations.
Essentials           Stay faithful to the CHILD 20 Essential Components.

Standards           Use Task Cards geared to tested standards.
Technology        Check out websites that require students to respond in test format.      

Use a timer or overhead clock to help students prepare for testing.  Help them develop the “feel” of 5 minutes (short response), 15 minutes (extended response) or longer.  Utilize this online clock to count down to completion.

Prep Parents for Testing through CHILD Newsletter

Consider sending home a CHILD newsletter that focuses on parent involvement, the 20 Essential Components of CHILD and preparation for testing.  Use the newsletter template in Publisher to save time in designing, but make it unique to your school by adding pictures and a story to celebrate a recent success.

New Stations for February

Be sure to check out the stations for use in February under the “Holiday” section of the website.  There are activities and resources for the following topics:

  • 100th Day of School
  • Valentine’s Day
  • President’s Day

Enjoy these new station activities to do with celebrating Black History month!

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