Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Published 1:46 PM by with 0 comment

How to prepare your child for state testing

Happy New Year!!!

Back to school, time for testing

As we know the students returned to school this week after a two week break for the Holiday Season. As students return to school, this is the time that the teachers start preparing the students to learn the standards for the State Testing. The testing takes place either in March-April in some states and as late as May in others. All states except for Virginia and Texas who decided to opt-out of Common Core have to take some sort of standardized testing in order to see if the school has reached Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in Math and Reading.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Is a measure of year-to-year student achievement on statewide assessments. Each state comes up with its own definition on what it means to make AYP. Definitions must answer three questions: the percentage of students that must be proficient or above when tested in reading and mathematics (yearly in grades 3-8 and once in high school); whether or not at least 95 percent of students in those grades participated in the assessments; and, the additional academic indicator (e.g., graduation rates for high schools) that will be measured.

The percentage goal as laid out in No Child Left Behind and President Obama's initiative Race to the Top school should be at least 70 percent or higher depending on your students Annual Measurable Objective.

Annual Measurable Objective (AMO): A goal that a state sets each year to define a minimum percentage of students who must meet or exceed standards on its academic assessments. Each state's AMOs are applied consistently throughout the state for all public schools, districts, and subgroups of students. All students must be proficient in reading/language arts and mathematics by 2013-14.

In order to prepare your student for this time, the teachers are given a set of objectives and standards based on the data from benchmark exams that the students need additional practice or reteaching. From January to May the teachers will solely focus on those skills as well as introducing new material that will help to reinforce the skills the students have or will master.

Steps you can take to help your child prepare for testing

There are several ways that you can help your child to do well during this review period.
  • Ask the teacher for the data for your child. After each benchmark, your student has a report card that shows the skills based on the test that your child needs help with. 
  • Add 30 minutes (daily) of skill strengthening. Once you find out the skills that your child needs assistance with, work on it daily to help strengthen those weaker areas. 
  • Take advantage of whatever resources your child's teacher offers. As a teacher, I offer tutoring for free after school because often, during this time, the student feels more comfortable asking questions without the pressure of other students. 
  • Research older tests online to help with test preparation. You can look online at the tests from previous years and look at the setup and help your child prepare for the exam. You can do a google search based on your state. An example of a good search term is: Released Items for North Carolina State Exams. It will give you not only the older tests but the answers to all the subjects they are tested on.

This is the time to be your child's biggest advocate. These test scores follow your student throughout their school career. They are on their transcripts and will help prepare them for taking the SAT and ACT exams for entrance into college. With your help, your child will feel more confident going into this season of testing, and it will help the classroom teacher to help your students to succeed. 

Until the Next



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