Here at ThinkCERCA, we believe that the best way to see student growth on assessments is through great instruction every day. To excel at career and college readiness assessments, students need to engage in complex cognitive tasks that extend past basic recall and understanding. In this recorded webinar, ThinkCERCA’s Director of Success and former Boston Public Schools district leader, Kavita Venkatesh, Ph.D., reviews four research-based strategies for improving student performance.
- Error analysis – Help train students to identify the distractors presented in answer options on standardized tests. You can start by asking them to look back at a multiple choice question they got wrong in your class: Why was the answer incorrect? Perhaps it was an option that mimics language found in the text but doesn’t actually answer the question.
- Prediction strategies – Show your students how to approach certain questions as opportunities to read a text more carefully. For instance, a prediction strategy would work when students have the text in front of them and can find the answer in the text before they look at the multiple choice answer options.
- Annotation – Most teachers encourage annotation already, but many students don’t take advantage of the practice when it comes to assessments. You can help your students by giving them a key for annotation – maybe an underline means “main idea” and circling means “supporting details.”
- Classroom layout – While it’s common practice for classroom desks to be arranged by rows, changing up the classroom design can support student focus, limit distractions, and increase opportunities to access content (especially when we use individual and group settings in creative or new ways). Try to rearrange your classroom so that students are given multiple opportunities to work with peers, learn from another, and – when needed – work alone to practice their skills independently.