Education Evolutions

Standardized Test-Taking Preparation

Lana Learn academic coaches are focusing on PARCC preparation with students from H.D. Woodson High School.

As part of the High-Impact Tutoring (HIT) program, Lana Learn has been working with biology students on standardized test-taking preparation. The students at H.D. Woodson are getting ready for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). This is DC’s annual assessment of mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA), based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

This month’s focus is the students’ writing and language skills. As with any standardized test, students do need to know the content for the PARCC. However, it’s imperative that they are able to recognize, analyze, and explain concepts in scientific terms. As a result, Lana Learn coaches are having students practice writing introductory and conclusory paragraphs. We have also worked on writing reasonings for why a piece of evidence supports particular scientific claims.

Springtime is about transformations, and that is exactly what we have been seeing in not only the students’ work but their confidence as well. Their increasing confidence is both a cause and a reflection of their writing transformation.

As we wrap up the month, I look forward to working with students on their social and emotional learning. In particular, we are addressing anxieties associated with standardized test-taking. I plan on providing a safe space for students to express their feelings and anxieties through writing or verbal communication. In addition, I am teaching them a variety of relaxation techniques. These techniques will be useful in the moment when the exam is sitting in front of them. The more standardized test-taking preparation we are able to give our students, the more prepared they will be for future assessments.

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