We took the OLPA test last week which is a practice test for the MCA test in the spring. Our scores were not as high as we hoped. As teachers, we reflect on why this might be and look for ways to change our teaching. Here are some of the things the classroom teachers and I discussed.
Children may not be taking the tests seriously: We will talk to students about how important tests are and how important it is for them to take the tests seriously and to give it their best effort. This is something you can help with at home. Share your dreams of what you hope for your child. Help them understand that each step along the way is part of getting there.
Strategies: We think students may need more practice with good test-taking strategies. Sometimes we assume children know, but have to remind ourselves that they may need to be taught. Here are some things we'll talk about in class:
Rule out some choices: Are there some choices that are obviously wrong? Cross them off!
Does it make sense: Before moving to the next problem, ask yourself if the answer makes sense. If the problem was a divsion problem and you ended up with a larger number than you began with...STOP! Go back and work again.
Cover up numbers and/or words: If you're not sure what to do, put your finger over the number in a word problem and ask what the problem is about...and THEN think of what you'll do. If a name or word is unfamiliar, cross it off and think about what makes sense.
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