Prepare for Assessments with Great Instruction Every Day
Implement these strategies throughout the school year to help students prepare for spring exams.
Great instruction every day. It's our mantra for what teachers can do, on a daily basis, to see growth in student outcomes by the end of the year.
By delivering great instruction every day – instead of cramming in a few test prep sessions in February or March – teachers can help students hone and improve on the critical reading and thinking skills that assessments often evaluate. While great instruction every day can take many forms, these straight-forward strategies are sure to help students do their best on spring assessments.
Test-taking strategies that can be applied to instruction throughout the school year:
- Analyze errors in multiple choice questions – Help train students to identify the distractors presented in answer options on standardized tests. You can start by asking them to look back at a multiple choice question they got wrong in your class: Why was the answer incorrect? Perhaps it was an option that mimics language found in the text but doesn't actually answer the question.
- Read texts carefully to make predictions – Show your students how to approach certain questions as opportunities to read a text more carefully. For instance, a prediction strategy would work when students have the text in front of them and can find the answer in the text before they look at the multiple choice answer options.
- Annotate informational texts– Most teachers encourage annotation already, but many students don't take advantage of the practice when it comes to assessments. You can help your students by giving them a key for annotation – maybe an underline means "main idea" and circling means "supporting details."
That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. We'll be diving more into these strategies – and best implementation practices for them – at our upcoming webinar, "Tackling Spring Assessments through Great Instruction Every Day."
Mallory Busch is ThinkCERCA's Editor of Content Strategy. A graduate of Northwestern University, Mallory came to ThinkCERCA from stops in audience strategy at TIME magazine and news applications development at Chicago Tribune and The Texas Tribune. She holds degrees in Journalism and International Studies, and was a student fellow at Knight Lab in college.