Tips and Tricks

Getting Your Classroom Test-Ready

With the slight change of the season comes a big shift in the classroom.

It’s that time of the year again–gearing up for standardized testing. For months you’ve prepared your students — learning new vocabulary, putting up posters, creating interactive bulletin boards.

You’ve supported them with graphic organizers, word walls, number lines, charts, maps, lists, tables and items that are covering the walls.

But now, in anticipation of the testing season, it’s time for the supports to come down. What stays, and what goes? To cover or not to cover?

Do a walk-through

Before testing is in full swing, walk the room with your students and discuss what is hanging on the walls. Determine as a group what should come down and what should stay and why. This will reinforce what is taken down and cement in the student’s mind an understanding of why it was in the room in the first place and the educational purpose it served. This activity should help reinforce certain topics, helping students to remember them during testing sessions.

*After testing, determine as a class what information should be replaced or whether new information is needed.

Cover or remove testing aides

Take down or hide all teaching aids that may provide unauthorized assistance to students during testing. Here are a few examples that school personnel should consider when preparing rooms for testing:
•    Posters, maps, charts, and displays that define, explain, or illustrate terms or concepts
•    Mathematical formulas/theorems
•    Graphic organizers
•    Word lists
•    Definitions
•    Multiplication tables
•    100s charts
•    Writing formulas

Other considerations

The PARCC Administration Manual states that every test setting should have good lighting and ventilation, with a comfortable room temperature, and should be as free as possible from noise and other interruptions. Each student should have adequate work space and be separated from other students to ensure a secure testing environment. Double check that all needed materials and equipment are available and in good, working condition.

Test-Friendly Displays

There are various ways to hang your displays, but using clips, hooks, or loop tape will make removing them a lot easier later on.

How do you prepare your classroom for standardized testing?

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