2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2010 6:11 PM by dgoodman_1958

    Test Taking Strategies and Tips


      It's that time of year!  Teachers and support staff are all scrambling to make sure students are as prepared as they can be for the "TESTS".  We group and re-group students to individualize instruction to meet their needs.  We pull all staff the last 6 weeks of school prior to testing to accommodate these smaller groups.  While this goes on daily in the classroom from the beginning of school, the students in these groups get more indepth instruction on the standards they need the most help with by various staff members.  Sometimes a different way of teaching a concept is all that's needed for some of these kids to get it.


      Last year I came across a blog post of a middle school who took the tune to "Monster Mash" and added test taking strategies as lyrics.  I borrowed this idea and re-created our own lyrics to the song.  On test day, we had lights dimmed, monster footprints taped from the entrance down the halls towards the classrooms, orange lights blinking and the music with lyrics (recorded by our singig staff) playing as students entered the building.  We called our song the "Walker Mash" to mash out the tests.  We were all singing the song as students entered.  They joined in as they walked down the hall.  The lyrics were posted on the shared drive for teachers to access before test day. 


      My reason for beginning this discussion post is to get feedback from all the experts here on ideas, suggestions, or web sites that might be helpful in the quest for success and/or reducing the stress that we all have during this time of year.  Have you done something similar to what we did and would be willing to share?  Do you have a suggestion for an event or theme to do this year?

        • Re: Test Taking Strategies and Tips

          My daughter and her friends instituted pajama day.  So for the first day of testing they all wore school appropriate pj's.  She was very relaxed.  Today they all decided to wear something green - so talking about fashion is putting them at rest. 


          While I was in the classroom I always brought healthy snacks for my class and I allowed them to chew gum during the tests as long as they didn't "snap" it or blow bubbles.

            • Re: Test Taking Strategies and Tips


              When I was in the classroom I found that giving students the choice to chew gum and bring water bottles to sip on throughout the day made them feel like the classroom was home away from home (being able to enjoy some of the same privilege as home).  We had rules about both.  At first, everyone wanted to chew gum and bring water bottles but it all tapered off as the year progressed.


              I like the PJ theme idea.  We do that the month of December when basically the whole school reads The Polar Express.  The kids and adults I might add really enjoy it.