Are You Nervous About Your Students’ Performance on Standardized Tests?
Addressing all the standards (Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, WIDA, GED Standards, NRS, TABE, CASAS, and College Career Readiness) in your lessons is a good thing, but it might not lead to good student performance on standardized tests. That is, many of your students might not make any gains on the final test. Scary? Yes, indeed. Most teachers might struggle with this. I have been there and I know how it feels. How can you tackle this issue?
There are no magical recipes, but I will let you in on 3 important secrets. Using them well might put you in a more confident position. Read on…
1- Write student-centered learning objectives: Write learning objectives (LO) instead of setting up coverage objectives (CO). COs are about the content you want to cover in the class. These objectives won’t take students very far in their learning journey. Writing LOs is the way to go. They tell what your students will be able to learn and do (skills, competencies) at the end of your lesson.
LOs should describe real and authentic experiences. To take things further, make your LOs meaningful to students.
The brain stores most information in form of meaning. Meaningful learning experiences will facilitate students’ learning of the material.
2- Distribute your practice sessions: Avoid massed practices. Making students practice lots of material at once is too cumbersome. It does not lead to effective learning. Rather, distribute your practice sessions across several weeks. Plan homework or class work accordingly. That will enable students to revisit class materials throughout the term. You will get to assess their learning on a regular basis.
3- Teach learners how to practice effectively: Most students might not know how to study. For example, they need to know 30 minutes of study per day over 10 weeks is better than 30 hours of study before a final test. That is to say, you should teach students to practice regularly. The spacing effect will give them a better grip on the class materials. Therefore, they might do better on standardized tests.
I did my part. So now do yours.
Thanks in advance for commenting and sharing this post with your adult-ed colleagues.