It has been a bit since I posted as we are all feeling the rush of the end of the school year happenings! We received our numerous boxes of our state assessment materials today. Our students will have the chance to show what they learned this year. Our teachers have done a wonderful job this year in preparing our students. We have focused on the data, although we will continue to refine this process in the future. I previously posted on using data and I encourage you to check it out if you have not had a chance to read it.
At this point I just try to boost the kid’s confidence. I remind them daily of how much they have grown academically this year and now they will have the chance to prove it on paper. I know most of my teachers will be reviewing the standards over the next few days, but it is impossible to cram at this point. I think the reviews are a good idea but at this point I think a healthy dose of encouragement and confidence building are more effective.
Here are some of my specific strategies:
Talk up the upcoming test with the students, but be careful not to stress them out! You can often hear me in the hallways reminding the kids and telling them how ready they are!
Meet with kids individually or in small groups. This takes some time but it can be done formally or simply by pulling them aside on the way to lunch. I use this time to talk about their year and how they feel about their academic performance.
At my school we are going to use incentives for attendance. I know there is a tremendous amount of debate on the merits of incentives, but it works for us at our school.
Make sure the teachers are preparing the students for the testing “conditions”. We actually do this all year as we feel the more experience they have in testing environments the more comfortable they will be on the big day!
Here are a few of the strategies I use for last minute preparation. What are you doing at your school?
Wow, great minds think alike. I just had this conversation with someone at my school, and we are planning attendance incentives too.
For the three weeks leading up to the week of PACT, we did test tips on our news program. But there was a twist. We gave the tip early, making it so the kids read it and heard it on their tvs during very early the show, and then last thing we did before signing off, we sponsored a call-in contest, and students would have to use the class phone to call the library to answer. We would showcase four statements (seen and heard) on the TV, and then encourage callers to call the library and tell us which statement was true. We entertained the eighth caller, or the first caller after 8 calls who correctly identified the correct statement. By adding the competitive twist, teachers said the students were really paying attention to the news broadcast, and we were giving the kids information that was important to boot!
My students this week keep asking why we are not continuing the call-in contest since PACT is far from over. Good point! (Their prize was a coupon for a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. I really don’t think the kids use them, but they love winning. We would recognize the winner on the next day’s show.)
Glad to have stumbled across this blog! Best, many in your blogroll are already in my reader. And last, I just Sunday evening added a post about PACT and how we need to be super positive with our students, no matter our feelings about the high stakes test. Come on over to my blog and read it.
[…] about our PACT that has commenced this week. I was reading a fellow SC educator’s blog here and he was sharing about ways to motivate kids to perform well. He asked for anyone to share […]