January 14, 2004
There are a few things my school does to motivate students to do well on standardized tests. We have practice tests that assess the progress of the students three times a year. In my class I play games (such as a trivia quiz, concept baseball, or geography Jeopardy) with the students to build confidence and ready them for the test taking. Rewards are simple: first group to lunch, line leaders, class pencil sharpener, etc. Each day I emphasis how the skills will help them in the future. For the written test, we constantly practice test-taking skills. All of the improvement is documented in the child's portfolio, which travels with them in our school, from the 5th to the 8th grade. Most of our students improve on a yearly basis. Let them know how the results will affect them in the future. In Florida, if they don't pass our FCAT, they only receive a Certificate of Attendance at graduation. It is never to early to have them thinking and preparing for the future.