Ep 162: Get Your Students Crushing Standardized Tests (Without Teaching to the Test) - EB Academics

Ep 162: Get Your Students Crushing Standardized Tests (Without Teaching to the Test)

We’re willing to bet that if you’re in the position of having to teach test-taking skills (and you probably are), that you want to do it in an engaging way that actually helps students. In this episode, Caitlin and Jessica will show you how to make test-taking lessons FUN and memorable for your students. 

Listen as Jessica and Caitlin walk you through the steps of creating a Test Prep Treasure Hunt for your students! Front load students with essential knowledge of test-taking stills and academic vocabulary before setting them off to search your classroom for clues that will lead to great test practice.

This next-level activity will not only take some of the stress out of test practice for students, it will give them helpful, applicable information and practice to ensure that they tackle their next test with confidence. And you can rest easy, knowing that you didn’t waste valuable learning time on boring exercises that teach to the test without building critical ELA skills. 

Tune in now to hear:

  • [0:40] Caitlin discusses the importance of test-taking knowledge and some positive experiences she has had in teaching this to students
  • [03:00] Jessica reviews some important strategies for students to know: reading directions, tackling multiple choice questions (including two-part questions), comprehending reading passages, and writing short-answer responses
  • [05:00] Caitlin explains why we teach test-taking strategies and why universal strategies are the most helpful for students to learn
  • [06:50] Jessica walks listeners through an engaging, rigorous test-taking treasure hunt activity!
  • [07:00] Reminder to EB Teachers’ club members: if you don’t want to use Jessica’s walkthrough to create this resource yourself, you can grab it from the EB Shop with one of your monthly coupon codes. Not an EB Teachers’ Club member yet? We’d love for you to join us! Join our wait list here. It’s a great community full of lots of resources and teacher support.
  • [07:50] Step #1 of your test prep treasure hunt: Frontload students with test-taking tips. Jessica shares some examples of tips and academic vocabulary (direction words) to share with students.
  • [12:40] Use doodle notes to help students visualize and remember this academic vocabulary that they will see on tests. Caitlin explains how these doodle notes work.
  • [15:00] Step #2: Prepare the reading passages, treasure hunt journal, and the clue cards. Jessica walks listeners through all of these steps, but remember that EB Teachers can skip the work by picking up the resource at the EB Shop, or non-members can find it here
  • [21:00] A reminder from Caitlin: Don’t forget to balance the engagement with rigor! If you are creating this activity yourself, remember to include direction words and question types that students will encounter on their next test.
  • [22:00] Are you an EB Academics teacher who is using this Treasure Hunt Test Prep lesson or our Sweet Stations Test Prep lesson in your classroom? Share your experience in our Insider’s Facebook group to let us know how it goes!

Click here to listen now!

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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