As you know, the New York State tests are coming up. The ELA (English Language Arts) test will be administered Wednesday April 11th and Thursday April 12th. The NY State Math Test is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd to Thursday, May 3rd. We wanted to outline for you what our plans are and how you can provide support at home to make sure your child is prepared and confident for the tests. In fact, many students said they felt over-prepared last year.
Test Preparation In-School
To learn of your child’s current areas of needs and areas of strengths, we are administering a “mock test” in both ELA and Math. These practice tests will give students a feel for what the actual test will probably look like. Student responses will be carefully analyzed to plan our upcoming activities and lessons. We will be going over parts of the practice test and having students correct their mistakes and revise their writing. Due to this, we are not sending the practice tests home right now. Your child’s teacher will discuss how your child did during the parent teacher conferences. Sometimes our test prep work will be with small groups who need targeted and specific practice with certain skills. Other days, the test prep will be in the form of whole-class lessons, when the skill is one with which all students need further reinforcement.
Our school will be using the Practice Coach Plus ELA and Finish Line Math workbooks to support with test-preparation. These books will be used for classwork and for homework. Please ensure that the book is brought to school everyday. We also ask that you please avoid completing any unassigned activities in these books. We already started using the ELA book. The Math book will go home later as the test is many weeks away.
At home you can support your child by:
- Reducing stress around the test.
- Ensuring that they do homework assignments thoughtfully.
- Making sure that they bring their test prep books back to school each day.
- Helping them come up with a special “mantra” to say to themselves during the test if they feel overwhelmed, tired, etc.
- Reminding students that their teachers have many years of experience in preparing students and that they will be in great hands.
- Not overwhelming children with “extra” work.
- Make sure they get good sleep and eat a healthy breakfast on testing days.
If you would like to work on additional practice tests with your child at home please only use the 2017 released questions and example answers. You can find this information for ELA & Math here: https://www.engageny.org/resource/released-2017-3-8-ela-and-mathematics-state-test-questions
Please avoid using tests from other years besides 2017 as we will be using examples from other years in our teaching.
We understand this can be a stressful time. Please try not to communicate your anxiety to your children and we will do the same. If we have any particular concerns about your child’s academic progress, we will be in touch with you directly.
Donna & Ms. Courtwright