Friday, March 11, 2011

March 11, State Testing Motivation Strategies

Here are some ideas that we have shared to assist students in preparing for these high stakes tests -
Reminders for Students
•    Keep positive and relaxed throughout the test
•    Take your time
•    Read all directions, passages, and questions thoroughly and ask for clarification if needed (teacher may or may not be able to help, but it doesn’t hurt to ask)
•    Write legibly
•    If you don’t know an answer, skip it and come back later.  Other parts of the test may help to jog your memory.  DON’T forget to come back and make sure you are marking the correct bubbles.
•    Don’t worry about what others in the classroom are doing.  Not all tests are the same.
•    When you are done, double and triple check that you have answered all questions, check for careless mistakes and proofread your work

Reading Reminders
•    Read every answer choice for every question; sometimes you are choosing the best answer, and you’ll miss it if you don’t read all options
•    Use process of elimination: in your booklet (not your answer sheet!), cross off answers you know are incorrect to help you find the correct choice
•    Use highlighters to note important sections of the passage, and to better understand the question
•    Remember: antonym means opposite, synonym means the same.  If you see either of these terms in a question, write “opposite” above antonym and “same” above synonym

Math Reminders
•    Grades 7 & 8 – Use your FORMULA SHEET
•    Estimate reasonableness of your answers (Does it make sense?)
•    Check your work by hand with a calculator & your calculator work with work by hand
•    Show all your work and do not erase work on open ended questions
•    Double check for decimals, copying numbers correctly, negative signs, etc.
o    Multiple entry points – just because you don’t know part A, doesn’t mean you can’t complete parts B & C
o    Graders will not infer from your work, you must do what is asked (if it says lists the possibilities, you must list the possibilities, not say there are 6 possibilities)
o    If it says “show work,” show work, if it says “explain,” explain
o    If the question asks you to explain why you did something, you must explain why, not just what you did.  (Ex. Wrong – I multiplied 2 times $8 and got $16.  Right – I multiplied 2 times $8 to find the total amount spent on two shirts and got $16).
Guess and Check is an acceptable method, but you must show 2 incorrect guesses for full credit

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