Test Sophistication Time

Teaching Points Preview

March is said to “come in like a lion” and I couldn’t agree more. As the month begins, we teachers are all about to enter the season that leads us up to the biggest event of the school year -standardized testing. As we scramble to review what we can and encourage students along the way, nothing will prepare us better than being well organized and planned.

For me, this meant mapping my daily teaching points out on a monthly calendar (grab one here!), then plugging in all the resources I had into these lessons. I also set aside 9 days for 3 full “mock” exams, knowing that this would greatly benefit my students and work out all the kinks!

Most importantly, I created my Writing Unit Plans for my Writer’s Workshop Unit: Getting Writers Ready for the Common Core and Standardized Tests – TCRWP. These lessons were written for 4th grade, however the unit is identical for grades 3, grade 4, and grade 5. Which means the teaching points are valid for all, you’ll only need to switch the resources used (I reference NY Ready in my lessons). 
Happy testing!

Common Core Resources :

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Common Core Resources for ELA

As our district, and districts nationwide, dig deeper into the Common Core, the need for supplemental materials is becoming evident. Until our curriculum is fully aligned, we need additional activities and resources to ensure our kids are receiving the instruction they need to achieve the standards set forth in the CCSS.
I have compiled a list of websites that I have shared with my colleagues that are full of great resources. It seems as though there is already a ton of free stuff out there, it’s just that finding it sometimes seems like a daunting task. Rather than pay for these resources, I think if we educators continue to band together, we can avoid some of the already compounding costs the Common Core is forcing our districts to allocate to it’s development.
Please share this list with your colleagues, and please also share any other helpful sites/ resources that you could add to this list, in the comments section below.
Happy Teaching!