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Thursday Tips for Teachers: Quick Daily Practice

It's Thursday! Time for another Test Prep Themed Tip!

Last week, I wrote about selecting your texts based on test item samplers to best support your kids. I know I struggle sometimes with creating text passages, but I still want to provide my students with quality texts to let them show their skills, even if they do have to take these tests.

This week's tips is how I break them down to make them more manageable for you and your students. When I was first teaching, I would give them the whole passage and then go over all the questions in one setting. Needless to say, they were burnt out and depressed over the strain of taking the tests and antagonizing over their wrong answers. 

When I was working with one of my mentee teachers, we came up with another way to make test prep more manageable. Instead of doing all the review on one day, we broke it up over the next four days so that she could incorporate test prep in small chunks, but still be able to teach her lessons. 

Prep Work:

Her prep work consisted of writing 8 questions for two writing passages. She used the same focus skills so she could measure their growth from the beginning of the week. 

On Monday, students take the whole passage and only review their answers for questions 1 and 2. This allows the teacher to record all of their data on how they did and prepare mini-lessons to support her students for the rest of the week. Writing her own questions allows her to work on the skill her students struggle with and prepare to lead mini-review lessons. 

Below is the sheet she gives to students to have them explain their thinking. They record their answers on Monday, so she can take the passages and answers, but the students still have access to their answers. This sheet is great because they can record their thinking and their metacognitive skills to think about their thinking.

When they take the second passage on Friday, they track their progress on individual trackers on how many they have gotten correct out of eight. This is just a simple way to invest your students in their growth.

All of these sheets are included in my FREEBIE STAR Tracker Packet. It also includes a sheet for students to track their mastery of specific learning objectives.

Hope this helps lighten your test prep!

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