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Testing in Schools


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Like it or not, testing is here to stay. And, believe it or not, some principals are even making the best of it. They use creative approaches to Test Week that help build stronger school communities. Some are even having fun with testing! The articles below from Education World's archive share practical tips for making the most of Test Week.



Larry Bell

Larry Bell is an award-winning educator and in-demand speaker. He travels America and the world presenting seminars focused on practical ideas for improving test scores and helping at-promise students achieve success. If test achievement is important to you, Larry Bell's Education World columns below will inspire you and help your students.

Daily Participation: One Key to Raising Achievement

Teach Reading Strategies to Improve Student Test Performance

A Simple Idea for Improving Math Achievement

Power Verbs Help Ensure Students' Test Success

Simulated Test Days Are Key

Prepare Students for Long, Dull Tests

Academic Boot Camps Get Students in Test Shape
Concentrated reading and test-taking instruction in small groups -- known as boot camps -- is one of the strategies a California school district uses to help elementary and middle-school students on the cusp of proficiency improve their reading and test scores.

Big Test Pep Rallies:
2, 4, 6, 8 -- Taking Tests and Feeling Great!

A little stress over tests can keep kids on their toes, but too much will knock them off their feet. Lowering test stress is why many schools are using the popular "pep rally" to get students excited and motivated to do their best. Included: Cheers, skits, and more.

More Schools Turn to Extended Days
Hours of test preparation, especially in underperforming schools, has left little time for electives or even some of the un-tested basic subjects. Adding time to the school year and day has helped some schools improve their scores and flesh out their curriculums.

Capping State-Test Week With a Fun and Educational Reward
We always like to reward students for their extra effort during state-test week each spring. But we wanted to plan a fun event that would be more than a big party. Our teachers came up with a special event that was super fun and educational.

Boosting Test Scores: "Principal" Strategies That Work
Raising test scores is a goal at the top of all principals' lists. It's a task that requires focus and a multi-pronged approach. In this article, Ed World's "Principal Files" team shares strategies that have helped them boost sagging scores -- strategies that could work for you too.

This Is Only a Test
Testing may not be a favorite activity, but it is here to stay. When the adults around them are nervous -- or worse yet, negative -- about standardized tests, students can adopt those attitudes as well. Included: Simple tips to help administrators facilitate a smooth test day.

More (Short) Tests Can Help Learning
With all the testing going on these days, it's hard to imagine doing more. But some schools are finding that assessing students throughout the year with short tests can improve learning and better prepare kids for the big tests. The idea is backed up by research.

Beyond Standardized Testing: District Focuses on Assessing the Whole Child
Concerned that high-stakes testing was narrowing student assessment down to a few scores, educators in one Illinois district developed a system to assess a wide range of skills -- including thinking skills and social skills -- they wanted students to master.

Parents Try High-Stakes Tests
One Mississippi middle school is offering parents the chance to answer questions from its state tests, to help them understand what their children face. Included: Description of a test information night for parents.

Read More...

Find more articles of interest in the following Education World resources:

Building School Community & Climate

Data Management

Reading Achievement

See our complete archive of Focus On articles. More than three dozen hot topics of interest to principals.

Copyright 2008 Education World

Last updated 06/26/2008