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Recipes for Effective Literacy Instruction

Generic Test Prep Strategies

This section offers advice and materials for teaching students how to take tests more effectively.  It also provides a recipe for How to Create Critical Reading Questions. 

Test-taking involves reading and writing skills, but it also requires test-taking savvy.  Students need to know how test-makers think, and they need to know how to manage their limited time.  If students are confident that they know what they are getting into, they are more likely to succeed.


For writing assessments:

  • Show students exemplars that have been scored.  Start with an EXCELLENT model and point out what makes it so good.  Explain how the rubric works.
  • Give students opportunities to evaluate an array of exemplars so that they become comfortable with the rubric.
  • Teach students how to unpack the writing task so that they know how to answer the question fully.
  • Teach students how to pre-write effectively, and give them LOTS of practice with timed pre-writing exercises.  They need to know what 5 minutes feels like.

For reading assessments:

IN THE DOWNLOAD ZONE for Generic Test Prep Strategies:

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