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Keeping Your Sanity During Assessment Time!

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Sanity During Assessment Time!

End of the year testing, state testing, reading and benchmark assessments, grade card's enough to make a teacher lose her mind!  We all have to do testing so we might as well make it as easy and painless as we can.

1.  Go Digital 

Going Paperless with your assessements

Where ever you can go digital, do that!  It saves you on time and paper.  We use the DRA2 to assess our readers.  I have taken the DRA2 assessments that came with our kit and uploaded them to Google Drive.  Then I shared the folders with my teachers.  They can choose to send tests to the printer to print copies for them OR they can upload the tests to Notability app and Go Paperless!  

Using the Notability app to go paperless for assessments and note keeping

*  Set up folders for each of your reading students in the Notability app on the iPad.  

*  When you have a student to assess, open their folder in the Notability app, then touch the import picture at the top right of the screen.  Open your Google Drive and find your folder that contains your DRA assessments.  I have mine organized by levels to make it easier to find what I need.  Import the assessment.

*  As you assess the student, you make marks and notes right on the test on the iPad!  If you don't wish to keep that assessment, you can trash it right there.  Our school has not gone completely digital, so after I get the assessments done I send the tests right to the printer from my iPad.  This has saved me sooo much time!  

*  I use this paperless assessing with students reading in levels that do not require the student to write on the test form.  You could teach older students to write right on the forms by showing them how to pinch and open the screens larger to make it easier for them to write.  I do use a stylus to make writing easier.

2.  Get Organized

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Sanity During Assessment Time!

As with any assessment you are giving it is important to get organized and stay organized!  
Make any copies you will be needing beforehand so you don't go to get a test and you've run out!  Set all your materials out in an organized way.  I like to have all my folders out so I can move them from to be tested stack to the completed stack.  That way I don't miss anyone.  

Make lists of who you will be testing and what tests you will give them.  I check off the assessments and screenings as I go.  

Have plenty of pencils and erasers.  Book marks for students who need them and my timer are sitting out so I am not searching for them.  

Before you leave for the day, take just 5 minutes and tidy up your area so you will be ready to begin again the next day with no stress over a messy area!

3.  Use ESGI for Screenings and Check-Off Skills

Use ESGI to Save Time During Assessments

ESGI's logo is Click. Click. Done.  And it is so true!  This has been another huge time saver for me.  After I give all my DRA assessments I also give my readers short assessments using ESGI software.  You can use the assessments that are already preloaded on there or create your own.  I created what my students needed and use them.

Using ESGI to organize and manage assessments

I like to use ESGI for letter identification and sound identification, phonemic awareness, phonics skills and sight words.  But it can also be used for math.  One of the great things about ESGI is that you can create reports for the teachers and for parents.  Reports can be created for the whole class so a teacher can identify what skills the entire class needs to strengthen but you can also run reports on each individual student!  Love the reports!

Using ESGI to organize and manage assessments

Another reason I like ESGI is that I can print flashcards to be sent home to parents so they know just what their child needs extra practice on.  I don't have to create the cards, ESGI does that for me!  Another timesaver!

I hope you have a successful assessment season this year!  Grab a big cup of coffee, stay calm, and be organized.  You've got this!!

Using Word Work Intervention Phonics Binders for RTI Interventions, guided reading and word work stations

Finish your year strong with Word Work Binders- no prep, just print and go!  You can get these binders individually or as a bundle.

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Prove It To Me!

Using text evidence to prove answers

We've been reading folktales and learning how to prove our answers.  Since it is spring I decided to use Easter eggs to teach this skill.  

Using text evidence to prove answers

My students just love these stories!  There is something about them that appeals to kids over the years.  

Using text evidence to prove answers

After having read our folktales, it was time to pass around the egg basket.  I had typed up some events from the stories and placed them inside each each egg.

Using text evidence to prove answers

After deciding on the character trait for Goldilocks, each student chose and egg and decided if the event from the story proved the character trait or not.  

Using text evidence to prove answers

 Another group did the same thing only with the third pig from The Three Little Pigs.  Students read their strip of paper and if it proved the character trait, the paper was added to the anchor chart.  If it didn't prove it, the paper was tossed.
Folk Tale Anchor Chart

This is another anchor chart students can use to help them prove if a story is a folktale or not.

Using text evidence to prove answers

After practicing together to prove character traits, students can then prove whether a story is a folktale or not.

Using text evidence to prove answers

We try to use what we call Dollar Words on our anchor charts- words that are more descriptive and interesting.

STEM Little Pig House

After reading the Three Little Pigs, a fun STEM project is to try to build a strong house for the pigs that the wolf cannot easily blow over.  You can use a blow dryer or wave a thick piece of paper to test how the houses can withstand the wind.  

Using text evidence to prove answers

This Prove It To Me is a fun way to practice providing evidence from the text to prove your answers.  Click on the picture to check it out!

Folk Tales Resource

This folktale resource can be seen by clicking on the picture above.  

Free Resources