Many of us as teachers feel pressure to “teach to the test.” However, when we give in to this pressure, we risk losing our students’ engagement as we become hyperfocused on a school or state assessment. The result? Students who don’t care about, or remember, our lessons.
That’s why, today, we are talking about flipping the script on teaching to the test. No, we are not dismissing the need for your students to do well on their mandated assessments! But we discuss new approaches that will not only prepare your students for their tests but, more importantly, genuinely improve their reading and writing while helping them (and you) to enjoy their time in your classroom.
In this episode, Caitlin and Jessica discuss the drawbacks of focusing too strongly on testing skills in lessons: boredom, poor confidence, and lack of retention. Using their own experiences, they explain how engaging, rigorous, fun lessons reinforce skills that will actually improve test scores. Yes, ironically, throwing out the “teach to the test” mentality doesn’t just create a happier classroom, it also helps students to build confidence and remember their lessons. Listen to learn more!
Tune in now to hear:
- [02:50] An example of how engagement and practice lead to high writing scores
- [03:40] The importance of spiral teaching
- [05:00] An overview of effective lessons, available to members of the EB Teachers’ Club in August and September: Crack the Case Lessons
- [07:50] The benefits of creating an exciting, engaging classroom environment
- [09:00] Teacher success stories: having fun with lessons and making them memorable
- [10:30] How a change in teacher perspective can build confidence in reluctant students
- [12:10] An overview of “The Bountiful Case,” an exciting skill-building lesson
- [13:30] Tune in to next week’s bonus episode with Guest Monica Genta, on Thursday, May 6!
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