July 2008
Vol 5 No 7

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.7 July 2008

Cover Story by Sue Gruber
It’s Summer…Time to Shift Gears and Re-energize!
A lighthearted perspective on what summer break can and should be.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Eight Year Summary of Articles

»To Tell the TruthLeah Davies
»Discipline Without Stress, Inc.Marvin Marshall
»Teaching through Summer TV ViewingCheryl Sigmon
»A New Unified Field TheoryTodd R. Nelson
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Get the Most Out of Being MentoredHal Portner
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»Keyboarding: Some Assembly RequiredRob Reilly

»Who’s Cheating Whom?
»Dealing with Dishonesty
»How To Prevent Cheating in Middle and High School
»When Is Student Failure The Teacher’s Fault
»Frogs Predict Massive Chinese Quake of 2008
»July 2008 Writing Prompts
»What Are We Doing? And Why Are We Doing It?
»"Boys Read" Effort Aims to Turn Boys Into Readers
»A Teaching Guide for Summer Song
»12 Test Taking Strategies that Boost Student Scores!
»Gardner-Style Lesson Plan: Molecular Basis of Heredity
»Federal Government Resources for Educators
»You Be the Chemist Activity Guides

»Cheaters! Teachers talk about their experiences
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»Candles of Inspiration: July 2008
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: July 2008
»Video Bytes: The "Impotence" of Proofreading and More
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration for July 2008
»Live on Teachers.Net: July 2008
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
»Using Test "Cheat Sheets" To Enhance Student Learning
»"Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can't, Teach"
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
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Cover Story by Sue Gruber

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Marvin Marshall, Cheryl Sigmon, Marjan Glavac, Todd R. Nelson, Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, James Wayne, Alan Haskvitz, Bill Page, Susan Fitzell, Meryl D. Joseph, John Martin, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, L. Swilley, and YENDOR.

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Susan Fitzell

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

12 Test Taking Strategies that Boost Student Scores!
A dozen strategies that will enhance your students' ability to do well on a test!

A dozen strategies that will enhance your students' ability to do well on a test!
by Susan Fitzell

Regular contributor to the Gazette
July 1, 2008

Students continually face the challenge of testing during their school years. The stakes are high and while some students are natural test-takers, some struggle to show what they know on a test. Timed, standardized tests pose a significant challenge to students with learning difficulties. Many students have difficulty managing their time on a test and some have difficulty interpreting multiple-choice questions. Many students have little skill in preparing for tests.

Here are a dozen strategies that will enhance your students' ability to do well on a test!

  1. Teach Students to Use Positive Self Talk. If students think that a subject or class is too challenging and expect to fail, they probably will fail. Tell them that it's easy as long as they "practice" their learning
  2. When Teaching, Break information into small steps. This makes the information look easier and less overwhelming.
  3. Ensure That Students Understand Test Vocabulary. Some words include: enumerate, compare, contrast, discuss, illustrate, define, etc. If students are comfortable with these words and able to apply their understanding on a test, their test scores will be higher.
  4. Teach Students Test Taking Tips. Such as:
    1. Underline key words (list, discuss, define, etc.).
    2. Put a checkmark next to blank questions.

  5. Teach Students Time Management Strategies such as:
    1. Take the time allotted for the test and divide it by the number of questions.
    2. Answer multiple choice before essays and budget more time for the essay questions.
    3. Eliminate the obviously incorrect answers. Make an educated guess. Do NOT make random guesses.

  6. Watch Out for Dangerous Words! The Words: Most, some, usually, often, generally, may, and seldom are USUALLY the correct option.
  7. The "Superlative" Words: Every, all, none, always, and only are USUALLY the incorrect option.
  8. Another trick, if students are stuck, is to pick the answer containing the most information.
  9. If a question ends with "an," the answer should begin with a vowel, especially on English tests. So, if the question is, "Snow White bit into an…" the answer is not going to be b. banana, it will be a. apple.
  10. An answer that repeats words that are in the question is more likely to be correct. For example, if the question is, "Every year, the Red Cross collects blood at their annual…," the answer is probably "blood drive."
  11. Have students design a practice test for review, then time themselves when taking it. Have them self-correct and then re-take the test trying to improve their score and their test time.
  12. Remind students to review right before they sleep at night.

The above strategies were excerpted with permission from the book, "Umm Studying… What's That?" by Susan and Shivahn Fitzell, a book about memorization and test strategies for teens co-written by a teen.

» More Gazette articles...

About Susan Fitzell...

Susan Fitzell is a nationally recognized speaker and author of several educational resource books. She has over two decades of experience with differentiated instruction, teaching youth with special needs, students with behavioral and anger management issues, and students who experience bullying. Susan’s company, AIMHI Educational Programs, focuses on building caring school communities.

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Susan Fitzell, M. Ed.
Author, Educational Consultant & Professional Speaker
PO Box 6182, Manchester, NH 03103 USA

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