No matter how I feel about tests, the reality is that a number of standardized tests are about to be administered in the next few months and I want my students to do their best.
What will I do to help my students achieve high grades?
While, sadly, there's not the time to teach every standard with depth to every child due to the range of skills, abilities, and knowledge students bring to the class, I am able to introduce every standard with some depth.
So my first objective will be to make sure that every child has been introduced to every standard by the start of the first test in February. I will deepen the depth and problem solving skill related to each standard by the second test in March, and I will go even deeper by the third big test in May.
The introduction will include a number of short lessons that lead students through the standard with a host of whole class and small group activities. I will also offer a review of all standards through a game-show like activity prior to each test.
Also, I will give students avenues to practice and develop their skill in a large number of home study and independent ways such as the use of Khan Academy, TenMarks, a class website with videos and games, and vocabulary exercises and activities. These activities will also help students to develop their computer skills and that will be helpful since two of the three main tests will be on the computer.
With regard to deepening skills and knowledge, that's where the project/problem base learning and creativity come in. We'll employ a number of creative, project/problem solving activities to deepen learning in inviting and welcoming ways as we embed CCSS standards and other "learning to learn" and students' interests/passions into these projects.
The tests are coming and I want my students to do well, and I also want to teach well so I'll use the scaffolded process above to introduce and deepen students' skill, knowledge, and concept to prepare.