Thursday, February 26, 2015

Test Prep Blog Hop: Students Teach

Welcome to another blog hop brought to you by the teacher/authors of The Lesson Deli!

I don't think it really matters what part of the country (if you live in the US), you've been "unseasonably cold" these past few weeks. My friends at the Lesson Deli and I decided we'd do our best to help you warm up a bit, with a Starbucks Gift Card giveaway. Don't miss the link at the end of this post!

Teachers, it's that time of year again. Test Prep Season. Most of us would love to forget about it, but we can't. Even my fellow tutors and I feel it. It's not bad enough that we're feeling the February blues, but we have to get our learners ready for the next round. What do you do? Do you have some tried and true test-prep strategies, resources, or routines?

I'm from the school of thought that the best way to learn something is to teach it. When I have a student who needs help preparing for a test, I have him teach the material to me. Sometimes he's confident, sometimes she's nervous, most of the time they are excited to have the floor. I hand over my Expo Marker, and sit down with a notebook. 

As my student teaches me how to conjugate a verb, convert a fraction, or set up an equation, I take note of whether he's using the specific vocabulary that will be on the test. I make a note of how many times she says "um" or "like" as an indicator of how comfortable she is with the material. One thing I do not do is interrupt. Even if she is wrong, or even if he will end up at an incorrect conclusion. 

Many times, by the time s/he gets to the end, s/he's figured out their own mistake and can go back and correct it. Whether the conclusion is correct or way off base, I ask, "Does your answer make sense?" "Or, is there another way you could have done that?" That is usually all it takes for the student to look back over the work and find a mistake or two. 

How can you duplicate this teaching back process in the classroom? Small groups is one way. Each group will focus on one skill or concept, and the participants take turns teaching to their classmates. Participants use this free rubric to rate each "teacher's" lesson. (I include this rubric in my 6th grade Math skills Task Cards. The task cards offer a test-like question, then direct the student to show how they know, or explain why it works.)

In honor of the recent Teachers are Heroes TpT  sale, I thought I'd keep the love going with a $15.00 gift card to my favorite store. There are several ways to enter in the rafflecopter below. Best wishes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And here is the next Lesson Deli teacher/author, with another tip to help you through this testing season: 
Make sure to click through until you reach the Lesson Deli Blog so you can enter for your chance to win the Starbucks gift card, AND a bundle of test prep goodies from all of us involved in this hop. Happy test-prep season!


  1. I work with K-3 resource students and when reviewing for any type of test I try to make it a fun, game-like review. Tests are less intimidating when students feel like they are having fun at the same time!

  2. My fifth graders love playing the game Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? to review for standardized tests!

  3. I use review games to help review for the tests.

  4. We do a fun matching game where the students cannot talk, but need to find the partner to their test prep word. For ex. compare-Find Similarities. They love it and the prizes they win! Thank you for the awesome hop!

  5. I remind my students that how they communicate their answers on paper is like an X-ray into their brains. It helps us, as teachers, know what's going on in there because we can't REALLY look inside. I try to let them know that it's just a way for us to determine what we as teachers still need to work on to help take the pressure off them. Then they want to perform well so you can "look inside" their heads.

  6. I use review games. It feel that may stay some of the stress out by using games versus in the seat review.

  7. I use review games. It feel that may stay some of the stress out by using games versus in the seat review.

  8. I love Scoot and interactive review games!


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