Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Test Prep #1--As Promised.

First, I would love to thank Kim and MrsL and Living a Wonderful life for their comments on my previous posting.  It is essentially official---I will not be teaching 6th grade next year.  Unless New York decides to fund that case I won't be holding my breath.  I need to figure out a plan for next year.  Should I relocate?  Do I stick it out?  I know it's just March but I like to plan ahead and I am mighty worried.

ANYWAY, I promised last week that I would share some of what I have been doing with my kiddos to prep for the state exam.  It began yesterday with a little of this:

WHATTTTT!?!  You may ask.  We had about 12 of these black posters with a label up around the room. n I basically took 4 of the state exams from the past and copied them on different colored paper depending on the year. I cut apart I had one of my awesome student helpers cut apart the multiple choice questions.  From there, I determined on my own the major categories, Inference, Word Meaning, Adding Information, Setting, Prediction, Text Features, Author's Purpose/Craft, Non-fiction, Interpreting a character's feeling, Poetic/Literary Elements, Main Idea...etc.  I then passed them out among the students.  The tougher questions I gave extra to my quick thinkers.  Anyway, we taped them up where we thought they should be.  I scanned through them and we fixed "ones that needed a new home."  This worked SO WELL to show my kiddos what they need to work on in order to be successful...and what is generally tested ("ohhhh so that's why we do so much with inference!-student).  I would HIGHLY recommend a similar activity for your students.  Understanding WHAT the question is ASKING is 1/2 the battle!  It was fun, interactive, and my kids loved when I said "Today I cut apart the state test" (*gasps*) "That's right, and we are going to sort the multiple choice questions and you can complete this successfully without reading one passage!" (*cheers*)  It was sweet.  Then we took a practice test for the multiple choice section.  Not their favorite, but necessary.  One of my SPED kids only missed 2 of the 26 questions---woo hoo!

Then, today we started to tackle the listening section...aka book 2.  We did a TON of modeling where the push in SPED teacher and I modeled taking good GAP notes, filling in, etc. while the other read.  We then started working on the short answers.  I introduced this:
They remembered it!  We then started in on the extended response.  We were doing such a nice job and I could tell we were getting restless.  So I made the executive decision to go outside for the last 15 minutes of the block. Good choice since here in NY we are already in the 80s....yes, the 80s...this week.  It is SO hot here!!!

Anyway, those are just some quick ideas on Test Prep...I will share more tomorrow when we start centers!!!

Much Love,


Mor Zrihen said...

awesome activity! You turned test prep into a fun game for your kids.
Good Luck on the TEST! Thanks for sharing!

❤ Mor Zrihen from...
A Teacher's Treasure
Teaching Treasures Shop

Neffer1982 said...

So sorry to hear about next year! I've been there before, don't give up! I like your extended response acronym. In my class we use doesn't really spell anything cool but it stands for Restate the prompt, provide Evidence from the text, Conect the evidence to th prompt, provide more Evidence, Connect evidence to the prompt, Sum up your repsonse. Our students have to give two pieces of evidence for every open ended response...whew! Our teste just wrapped up so we are relaxing and celebrating! Good luck!

Kim said...

Ms. D:

I am just heartbroken on your behalf. You've been my connection to so many things SIXTH.
HOWEVER, I just have to believe that something will fall into place for you. You're just too good.
I live in California. "We" think even less of teachers and education that almost every other state.
I will think positive thoughts for you and continue to send you warm hugs through cyberspace.

Finding JOY in 6th Grade

Amber said...

Hey Ms. D (I'm pretty sure this is you). You checked out my blog (I think the followers thing should be fixed) I just came over to check out your blog and awesome ideas and to become your newest follower :)

Sparkles , Smiles, and Student Teaching

MrsL said...

So sorry about your job! You *will* find something else.

Thanks for this idea. I'm always looking for ideas that will give my kids opportunities to get up and move around. They will love this!