Most schools are moving into the middle part of the school year which means that big state assessments will be coming up soon. Teachers have been preparing for testing all school year. I’m sure that educators, parents, and students are enjoying the holiday break from the hustle and bustle of the school year. When we go back to school in January, we’ll get back into the full swing of things!
Mid-year Assessments are Beneficial
January is that time of year when many students are given mid-year assessments to ensure that students are adequately moving toward the goals that have been set for them. The data from the assessments will provide teachers with information to use for planning instruction. Small group lessons and one-on-one sessions will provide students with targeted instruction to address their academic needs. Although mid-year testing can seem time consuming, valuable data can be collected about student progression and then shared with parents.
Teachers should begin to prepare and to talk to their students for state testing early in the year. Integrating test taking strategies into every day lessons provide students with opportunities to become comfortable with using the strategies on a regular basis. Provide visuals for test taking strategies. As a result, students will use these strategies beyond testing, which is truly the goal of education.
Get Parents Involved
Hold at least one parent session during the school year to give parents information about the state standards and strategies that can be used at home with their children. Parents can become the students in the class and participate in a lesson on the test taking strategies that their children are learning. Afterwards, parents can take a mock state test to give them a sample of what their children will face when it’s their turn. As a result, parents will better understand the strategies and be able to help their children at home. Additionally, tell parents about any testing dates early in the school year! The earlier parents know, the better. Informing them will help minimize the amount of absences on testing days.
We may not make always like testing, but it is inevitable. Therefore, we may as well prepare early to help students succeed.
Kimberly Y. is an eighteen-year experienced educator in Virginia. She’s educated students as a second grade teacher, librarian, and instructional coach. Currently, she is an administrator at an elementary school. She believes that children learn best through discovery and using hands on activities. Seeing the light bulb go off for students through quality instruction has been the driving motivation throughout her career!