Monday, October 20, 2014
Here come the tests!!!!

Teach to the tests??? Don't teach to the tests??? Whichever of these two philosophies you buy into.....one thing is for sure: We want our students as prepared as possible when the big day arrives. To be sure we have done our best to lay a strong content knowledge and skill foundation throughout the year. Our curriculum has been based on the skills and objectives outlined in the state guidelines. Now we begin to put the finishing touches on our preparation. With this in mind, there are numerous digital tools students and parents can use to enrich the learning process. Here are just a few of my favorites:

1. Checkout the Khan Academy Apps for download on your smartphone or tablet. These are great lessons to reinforce what students have learned and to help tutor them through the learning process. Best of all......it's FREE!
2. There are also many great apps that allow students to practice skills through game formats. "King of Math", "Number Stax", and "ConundraMath" are great examples. (search Math at the App store for more)
3. Check out the website www.thatquiz.org. This provides students several Math areas to work with in a challenging framework. (Science also included)
4. Quizlet is a website where students can create flash cards using content and academic vocabulary to practice mastery. (they can create their own or use ones already saved)

All of these are great digital learning tools that allow students to play and learn simultaneously (if they're not careful, they may even have a little fun while they are at it). It also allows them to drill, drill, drill a content skill to mastery. Much like our athletes do as they prepare for a contest. The more repetition we can get in, the better we know the skill.

While technology offers us new avenues of learning, simply sitting and reading with your child and asking questions about what they read can help develop reading comprehension skills. Ask them about their day. Email teachers for ideas and suggestions. There is still so much work to be done and our window of time is dwindling quickly.

Call it what you want. We simply want to give our students the best possible chance to be successful at any task they take on.......and YES that includes the upcoming tests!