Thursday, April 19, 2012

Test Prep Resources

Standardized End of Grade or End of Course prep can be a scary time of the year for teachers, parents, and students alike. I have compiled a list of online resources (with the colleague and former science teacher Anna Czekaj) that you might find useful in helping your students prepare for standardized state tests.

  • Elementary specific sites will be denoted with this icon.
  • Middle and High School specific resources will be denoted with this icon

  • General resources will have no marking.

Math - 5-15 minute long video screencasts on a WIDE variety of subjects (Math is thier big one though).  The Author has a unique way a explaining the concepts taught and the videos are accompanied by lesson specific questions.   This resource could be ideally used for targeted review. Math lessons and interactive games for all grade levels including Algebra.

Language Arts - Grammar and reading test prep resources.

Science (Science website that has interactive lessons and pictures/videos. This is the Jason Project website that has been created by National Geographic and SEA Research Foundation.) Created by the Jefferson Lab in Virginia. Is mostly for Middle School but could be used for High School Chemistry. Very good for review with Periodic Table, Science Vocabulary, and Balancing Equations.

Social Studies - Social Studies specific test prep resources from a number of states.

General The Verizon Foundation (the communications company non profit philanthrapy) has partnered with several well known content providors to supplement high quality teaching materials. While the entire site is great, you could specifically use the state standards search tool to find targeted activities for those hard to grasp standards. Practice makes perfect.   Until multiple choice tests are eliminated, it may be helpful, especially with younger students, to practice taking a test or two with a simulated bubble sheet.  While this will not auto grade your exam, it may help in building your students confidence come test day.  
 50 Study Tricks - Sometimes we need to look outside the education establishment for new ideas.  Here is a list of 50 random study tips from blogger Scott Young.  Some older students might find a few of these tricks useful.  Perhaps a classroom discussion where you use these as a base to get students thinking about study strategies. - internet4classrooms is a massive database of subject/topic specifi resources.  Some of it is awesome, some of it not so awesome.  This link is specifically for State Assessment prep. You will find resources from MANY state exams here. -Something interactive for everyone! This website includes games, tutorials, labs, projects, etc. that could be good for review.  *Much of the specific standardized testing information is geared toward the State of Tennessee.

Flashcard Sites
Dozens of flashcard sites exist on the web, some are better than others.  Below are three of the best in my option, plus a flashcard search engine to find content on the rest. Thanks to Richard Byrne for the intro to flashcardflash and  studystack. - This handy tool searches 27 seperate flashcard websites for flashcards related to a keyword.  A very handy tool for finding premade flashcard content.   Create online  flashcards or use flashcards created by others in this massive community.  Flashcards can be used in a variety of modes, so no students learning style will be left out. Use the flashcards on the computer or take them mobile using one of their free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Mobile, Nook, or Kindle Fire. Video intro to quizlet - Similar to Quizlet, you can create, share, or use flashcards made by others online, or on a variety of mobile applications.  What sets this site apart, is the variety of ways the end user can choose to study the material.  From traditional flipper type flashcards, to almost a dozen games, it definitely provides a variety to hold your student’s attention for more than a few minutes.

photo credit: COCOEN daily photos via photo pin cc

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