After an arduous and stressful school year, the end is in sight! But that also means that testing is just around the corner as well. My students haven’t taken an end of year test since they were in the 5th grade, so I want to make sure I spend time helping them do the best they can. I also know that they’ve gone through so much this year though, so I will be careful to make sure that this isn’t stressful for them.
In order to be strategic without being overwhelmed, I’m going to work on the following things:
Work on reading endurance
One thing that my students struggle with even during a normal school year is being able to stay focused while reading passages that are long and usually rather dull. My students are definitely out of practice with this skill, so I will be trying to spend at least a day a week in which students read independently for a sustained period of time. I plan on finding high interest articles on newsela.com in order to encourage students to buy in a bit more to the process. I will continue to allow students time to read in their own novels as well.
Make sure students are engaged
I honestly don’t know what I would have done without Pear Deck this year. Even though I have some students in class sometimes, the majority of my students on any given day are participating remotely. Pear Deck allows me to both make sure that students are engaged and focused and also helps me identify which students are struggling with specific skills. I plan to use Pear Deck to have students work on reading passages and questions so that I can see which questions students really struggled with. Pear Deck will also allow me to identify who got an answer correct so I can encourage them to share their thinking process with the class.
Target specific standards
I really don’t want to overwhelm my students. It has been a difficult year, and a lot of them have lost the things they love the most about school. In order to make sure I’m using my limited time wisely, I’m planning on using my reading comprehension passages and questions that are based on specific skills. The passages are engaging while the questions are designed to be similar to what they will encounter on the test. This product is available as both a printable PDF and a Google Form, so it is perfect for your students, regardless of whether they are in person or remote.
More than anything, I refuse to let this be yet another source of stress for them this year. I have had students that have felt isolated and lonely while others have dealt with unbearable losses. We will prepare as much as we can, but on test day, they will be reminded that their best is all I want and that it will always be good enough.