In planning for the Testing Period, we must make our plans and build our environment from the student perspective first and then develop the adult components to enable all students to perform to their potential. As in the other periods, there are specific things that we can develop to enable students to perform to their potential:
Competencies: In the Opening Period, we became focused on the competencies that students needed to be successful for the year. In the Formative Period, the focus was on building more proficient
learners. In the Calibrating Period, it was on building more proficient performers. In the Testing Period, the focus is on building more effective test takers and preparing them to demonstrate proficiency.
Competencies include format mastery, venue experience, test-taking strategies, individual triage strategies, and pre- and post-test taking strategies.
Conditioning for high-level assessments: High-level assessments require optimal environments, endurance conditioning, maintained high-level reading and thinking, and knowledge-based decision
making. All of these requirements can be developed during the Testing Period. It is a disaster if a student knows the content but cannot maintain concentration, fails to endure the whole task or
complete tasks, or is unable to maintain a level of performance through the entire Testing Period. Endurance is the key to maximum effort and best practice engagement.
5 Legged Model: Testing preparation involves the attitude, perception, thinking, and experience pieces of the 5 Legged Model. Students who have issues with attitude, perception, or thinking must get intensive and individualized attention in the Testing Period. Knowledge and experience can be developed in whole class work, but the other three legs need individual support on a daily basis.
Linking work: It is critical that students, especially students below high school, understand that learning and assessment are linked, and know that the types of questions that appear on assessments determine how they must be able to use what they have learned in class.
Beginning about a month before the test, students need to get work regularly that links what they are learning to test questions and the types of answers they should produce on assessments.
– excerpt from Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year
The free tools provided on this site are pulled, in part, from our recent book Turning Around Turnaround Schools, Volume 2 – Embracing the Rhythm of the Learner Year. If you have questions about how to use any of these tools, please feel free to contact us, or check out the book, available on amazon.com.