Preparing for Testing

Critical Tip of the Month

Stay true to the 20 Essential Components of TEAMS. 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.

TEAMS 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.

Modify your schedule following testing to fit in station time.  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 Prep: Emphasizing Vocabulary through Word Walls

TEAMS 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 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. Add them to your classroom Word Wall.

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

Continue Perpetual Skills

You’ll be glad that you incorporated the Perpetual Skills throughout the curriculum come testing time.  These essential 21st century skills, when used across the curriculum, can build lifelong strategies with multiple uses.   Remember that perpetual skills should be used within stations as well as whole group instruction.

Find activities that relate to the Perpetual Skills in the Teacher Tools section of the TEAMS online resources.

Assessing/Analyzing Information ● Accessing Prior Knowledge ● Brainstorming ● Career Exploration ● Classifying Information ● Comparing/Contrasting ● Context Clues ● Cooperating ● Creative Thinking ● Following Directions ● Graphically Representing Data ● Listening ● Note-Taking ● Observing ● Organizing Notebooks and Materials ● Outlining ● Print/Nonprint Reference Sources ● Problem Solving Strategies ● Reading Charts and Graphs ● Self Management ● Sequencing ● Speaking ● Study Habits ● Technology ● Textbooks ● Time Management ● Vocabulary

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