How to Raise Test Scores It’s not Rocket Science
Teach for the Test, Not to the Test • Teach life skills • If it’s not worth teaching, it’s not worth testing • There is nothing on the test that should not be in the curriculum • Create bridges between students natural intelligences and learning styles.
Expect the Best; Accept No Less • Each learner is unique. • Approach learning through different pathways. • Expect everyone to achieve.
Structure With Cooperative Learning • Research has found that cooperative learning is the number one strategy for increased student achievement. • Students need to work frequently in small groups to improve their ability to be part of a team effort
Teach test-taking Strategies Explicitly • Test-taking skills are a metacognitive strategy that empowers students. • Teachers teach students how to be good learners as well as good test-takers.
Stress Prelearning Strategies • Learners use what they know to help them understand something new.
Chunk the Material for Deep Understanding • Teach students to look for similarities, common groupings. • Attach meaning to a subject by linking it to something familiar.
Organize with Graphics • Displaying things graphically, students must organize large amounts of knowledge. • Makes students think visually.
Reflect Through Mediation • Use questions to probe for what students do not understand • Think aloud activities
Express Idea with Mnemonic Devices and Visual Cues • Remembering lists, e.g., states • Remembering data, e.g., formulas • Remembering rules, e.g., i before e, etc.
Seek Student Choices in Learning Situations • Teachers can establish broad parameters and still give students choices. • When students are interested in knowing something, they are much more likely to learn it.