Monday Mapping: Test Prep - Do I Have To?

Once Spring Break is over, many administrators are forced by their district leaders to start encouraging their teachers to prep for testing.  It's a vicious cycle, but ends with your principal peeking into your classroom each day to see how you are addressing those standards and reinforcing the skills your students will need to master the multiple choice.

For years, I was a test prep holdout.  I refused to waste my precious class time at the end of the year to stop everything and review.  But now, most do not have the liberty, or the tenure, to stand against the swift moving test waters.

So, how can you test prep while still teaching the valuable lessons?  Here's a few ideas:

Prepping for the big test does not have to be a "stop everything and review from start to finish" process.  It can actually greatly benefit students IF it is done as part of the natural flow of the class content.  In a Social Studies course, review should always be taking place as we move from one unit to the next.  History is a series of events, so why not tie them all together for the end of the year.

Oh, and for your administrator's benefit, tie a pretty bow around your lesson by curtly adding "TEST PREP" to your daily outline on the board.  In the end, true learning will show itself with positive test results.  Try it and see!

Need some great review (tie it up) lessons and activities?  Take a look at these ideas:

Early American Wars Comparison
Walk Through the People of World History Activity
Review Full Course (Do a slide a day to connect to current events!)
I hated interrupting my lesson plans for standardized test prep. Click to read these tips for continuing your lessons while still meeting your administrations testing expectations.

Happy Teaching!

Michele Luck

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