In just a few more months, my firsties will be taking their first big standardized test–The Stanford Ten test. I want to give them a bag of tricks to draw from during the test…tricks that will serve them well in their day to day classwork also. I also want to set their minds at ease and make them feel excited and motivated…instead of dreading the tests!
Finally…this is the MOST fun! I’ll have a sign hanging on my classroom door each day to greet the students and it’ll coordinate with a fun treat they’ll get that day!
Now that the FUN stuff is out of the way, let’s get down to some other aspects of test prep. My favorite test prep book is:
In the months leading up to the big test, we generally complete one or two practice pages per day. I prefer to project these on our Smartboard using a document camera so we can strategize together and discuss the type of problem and how to solve it. Occasionally, I copy the pages so students can have practice bubbling in correctly.
Speaking of bubbling, here’s my little trick for that. I let students know that a ROBOT grades their test. You should hear the squeals of delight and see the grins when I let them in on this testing secret! (A computerized machine is a type of robot, right??) Robots cannot tell what you’re thinking. All they are looking for is a colored circle! They can’t guess what you meant. So…
If you choose to make some test prep materials for yourself, let me let you in on another little secret. Darcy Baldwin has the most amazing font called DJB Test Bubbles. It’s free for personal use. It enables you to make answer bubbles for multiple choice tests. For example,
Isn’t that so handy? AND, you can show students examples of correct and incorrect bubbling like:
And most importantly, DAILY, I make sure my students know and believe:
If you’re interested in using these materials in your classroom, check them out here. There’s a single classroom version available as well as a school-wide license for guidance counselors or administrators to purchase. 🙂
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