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Rockwood School District

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Teaching Test-Taking Skills to Students

Throughout a student's coursework, strategies for answering test questions will be reviewed with students. This will be done within classrooms by grade-level or groups of teachers whose students are scheduled for assessment.

Strategies for answering the open-ended constructed response items and the performance events need to occur over time within the instructional process. Thus, these activities have been embedded into curriculum and instructional practices. By following the District Curriculum, teachers throughout the district, in all subject areas, will teach the skills and processes needed for students to be successful in responding to open-ended constructed response items and performance events. Also critical to successful performance on such tests is knowledge of the question format and vocabulary; lessons related to these issues will be incorporated into the curriculum with the guidance of curriculum and instructional staff members.

Strategies that may be shared with students to formulate quality answers to open-ended constructed response items by teaching students to:

  • Address all parts of the question;
  • Include specific examples from the text in the response;
  • Make reference to specific characters and titles in the response;
  • Give specific examples to support a claim;
  • Show the major steps in the solution process (math);
  • Give multiple likenesses and multiple sets of corresponding differences when asked to compare and contrast;
  • Include a title and labels when creating a graphic organizer;
  • Ensure that various possible answers are considered instead of settling on only the first considered answer;
  • Make sure pronouns are preceded by antecedents in the response;
  • Use major elements of the question/item stem as statements in the answer.

Where appropriate, teachers in the district will share strategies with students for being successful on performance events by teaching students to:

  • Formulate a strategy to solve complex problems and be able to implement their strategy by following a focused solution process;
  • Consider all possibilities when solving a problem, choose the best answer, and justify the reasoning for their choice;
  • Consider multiple criteria when solving problems or answering questions (or creating answers/solutions that meet required specifications);
  • Interpret data (i.e. a picture, graph, data, etc.) to make an inference needed to answer a question;
  • Organize data in different forms to show meaning (construct a graphic organizer that shows…, make a chart to show…, draw a series of pictures to show…, design a poster that shows…, etc.);
  • Describe the process used for finding the solutions or tell why the proposed solution is the best.