Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Test Prep Support... the follow up

As a follow up to the last post regarding test scores. We want to give ya some tips and suggestions to help your students meet their potential. It's all for the kids!

As great as spring is (flowers, sunshine, more daylight hours), it is also the time to prepare students for the “dreaded” standardized test. This summative instrument has increasingly been used to determine success or lack of success. It makes sense then, to be certain that students have every opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.

One of the strategies that can support successful performance on the standardized tests is to review and refine the students’ understanding of the following 12 words which are definitely used on standardized tests to direct student response. Here are the magic 12:













To ensure that students understand each of these terms, we would suggest that you apply the Marzano strategies—paying particular attention to strategies #1-3.

Step #1: Provide students with a description of the word. This is not a definition. It is an example or an explanation. You can do this by showing a video clip, having students perform a skit that illustrates the term, lead small group discussions, and telling or reading a story. In other words—demonstrate the word.

Step #2: Invite the students to put the description, example or explanation into their own words.

Step #3: Invite the students to create a non-linguistic representation of the word—this could be an illustration, a comic strip depicting a series of events, and so on.

Once you have taught these words, then it is important that you have students use them—in conversation, during a game, or involving them in an activity that is not a traditional venue for the usage of these words. (Consider during physical activity, a club, or your program opening.)

Understanding these words will help students not just with standardized testing, but with clarifying the thinking they have around any topic. So take some time this month and ensure that students are more able to complete this year’s standardized test successfully. As an added perk—supporting the school day will be greatly appreciated.

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