Friday, January 30, 2015

Preparing for State Test (without boring the kiddos)

Hey everyone! Mrs. Thomas here from Mrs. Thomas's Class

Here's what I am going to cover quickly with you today - STATE TESTING. Bummer. I know. But I am trying my HARDEST to make this fun for my kids the best way possible. 

I teach in Texas so our state test is called the STAAR. It's similar to common core testing in some ways, but in a lot of ways it isn't - but this is definitely adaptable to ANY testing. 

Where do I begin? Testing is hard. It's stressful. My 3rd grade kiddos stress out and it breaks my heart. I hate that. I remember being exactly like them when I was younger. The difference was my teachers still preached textbook, workbook, worksheets, repeat. GRRRRROOOOOSSSSS. That's definitely NOT fun to me - (if it is for you, please don't take offense. I'm just a very hands on, in your face kind of learner) 

So, after the benchmark test we gave our students a few weeks I realized some things my kiddos were struggling with. 
Main Idea
The list kind of goes on, :( 

So I decided then - done with the basal. It honestly did nothing to prepare my kiddos for the language that they see on the test so I have taken matters into my own hands. 
(my partner and I are doing the same thing, she's awesome too - you can find her on instagram under steponmemoreno!) 

I live and breathe off of task cards. I print them in color, we do stations, rotations, scoot, the list goes on. I print them in black and white they answer them in their notebooks to refer back to. 

I'm not going to just toot my own horn. is my GO TO for assessing. 
Rachel Lynette is also my HOTS lady. I print off her 4th grade stuff and give it to my kids.

I also take apart the previous released tests and that's how I make my task cards, by the amount of rigor they publish their questions, I make my task cards very similar so if you haven't ever checked them out, I love them. I make them for what we are working on or lacking in here so sometimes it's super random. :)

Here's my newest for February
There are multiple choice synonym/antonym, prefix/suffix, there are words where they ask them to find them in a dictionary, character traits they have to respond with a short story/paragraph. 

My winter stations also have grammar fix its. Something I'm going to try and keep up and make a bundle. (I have huge plans for summer ;) be ready haha!)

So, I just wanted to stop by and give you all some ideas to get your babies ready mentally. 

I also have been known to take my kids outside and teach all afternoon. 

If you have any other tips and tricks for getting your students state tested ready without drowning them in textbook and worksheets! Share below in the comments! 


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