Testing guides teachers in their planning, helps make instructional decisions, and assesses where students are in their learning. Between standardized and formative assessments, testing takes up a significant amount of time. In order to make this testing time worthwhile, here are some key factors that can help prepare students for assessments.
To make testing worth the instructional time it takes up, there are several things a teacher can do to make sure students will excel at their assessments. This means that students will be fully prepared by the time an assessment takes place so that a teacher does not need to reteach or put into place an academic intervention. A teacher should make sure his or her instruction is focused around the target learning goal and aligned with the state standards. This goal should be visible and clear to all learners, and written in academic language that students can understand. A teacher should be explicit with instruction, keeping lessons upbeat and relatable to the audience. Individual and small group work time should give students a chance to practice their learning and show what they know. If all these things are in place, a student should be prepared for the testing the follows.
Fun Review Games
Before a test, it is helpful to review student learning. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through technology-based review games. There are many apps that can help students review for an assessment. Kahoot is a free iPad game where students race against their classmates to answer multiple choice questions. It is customizable or easy to search for already made quizzes. Students love the competitiveness of answering questions quickly and accurately, while teachers love being able to see when the student screens turns green for correct, or red for those students who may need a little more practice.
Flipgrid is another fun tool to use to check in on student learning. A teacher poses a question, and the students reply with a short video response. These responses can be public for all to see, or private for only the educator to view. This is a different way to assess student learning that can take the place of a short quiz or journal entry.
Quizlet is a unique twist on making flash cards. A student can create his or her own cards or assess material that has already been created. Students can complete various learning activities with the flash cards, including matching games or quick quizzes. Quizlet can even be used on an iPhone, and is able to be accessed anywhere.
Testing guides teachers in their planning and instructional decisions and reflects the students’ learning. If a teacher has clear learning goals, gives students explicit practice on meeting those objectives, and uses engaging interactive review tools like Kahoot, Flipgrid, and Quizlet, students should be prepared and successful on their assessments.