Education Connections Tuesday’s Tip:
For many states, districts, and schools, the promise of spring also brings with it the return of end-of-year formal assessments and standardized testing to track student progress. While many students have made great leaps throughout the year, formal assessments, which sometimes serve as high-stakes graduation requirements, can bring heightened anxiety and stress to many students, including ELs. To help students prepare for these end-of-year assessments, it is crucial to incorporate opportunities throughout the year for students to develop their academic skills, while also learning strategies to cope and interact with these assessment formats.
For EL students, one of the most challenging end-of-year assessments can often be the writing test, or essay test. Even though students might have made large gains in oral language development, vocabulary skills, and academic English skills, formal assessments that require an essay can often be very challenging for EL students, especially under time constraints and high-pressure situations. Essay questions require even the strongest writer to understand the prompt, organize their thoughts, plan their strategy for approaching the written portion, then write, re-read, and edit their response, all within a certain time frame. For students who struggle in writing or are still working to develop their written skills and academic English skills, essay formats can often seem like monumental tasks. Making sure that you are providing students with skill sets and strategies to tackle essay questions can be a great way to help them feel prepared for end-of-year assessments.
For one strategy you can use to prepare students for a formal written assessment, take a look at this article from Colorín Colorado.
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Find lesson plan resources here at https://ket.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/masterpiece-historical-drama/?utm_source=lmnews&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mktg_2016