Standardized Test Familiarity
I believe the key to a good working relationship with parents and students, when it comes to testing, is there should be no surprises. Parents should be assured that you will do your best to prepare their child for this assessment. Have students and parents attempt to answer sample test questions at the beginning of the school year, and throughout the year, so they are aware of the format of the test. Show parents the types of activities and materials you will use to get their children prepared. Keep students constantly abreast of what they are expected to do and help them accomplish this with your activities. Have students use the identical rubrics used on state tests to grade their own work. Ask them how they would grade this answer and explain why you agree or disagree with their assessment. Show them samples of other students' work so they can be exposed to good and poor attempts. Give them test-taking skills that apply to the type of test they will be taking — e.g., standardized fill-in-the-bubble tests are very different from short and long answer tests. Comfort and a positive attitude go a long way towards easing parent, student and teacher anxiety.