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A Stress-less Approach to State Testing

Photo: Students enjoy breakfast during a morning review session before school begins.

I am betting that every college graduate has participated in a study session for a final exam at least once. Maybe many more. I found them to be very helpful; especially if it was in preparation for a high stake exam that involved assessment over a large amount of material.  What I always enjoyed about these review sessions with peers was how much we were able to accomplish in a non stressful environment/manner. I can only imagine what it might feel like to be tested on everything learned for an entire school year, in every subject. Not wanting my class day to turn into a test prep. conservatory, I opened my doors a little earlier for some casual review sessions. The average for the week? 16 to 17 students. Learn how.

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Comprehending vs. Comprehension


For many adults growing up, reading focused on "proving" it after a book was finished. Sort of like an after-thought, "Did you get it?" was found through comprehension questions, book reports, or dioramas.

We are now fortunate to have resources, literature, and methodology to support assessing what a child is comprehending while they are reading. Learn how we can now combine the old with the new by addressing before, during, and after reading strategies.

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Stress Free Parent-Teacher Conferences


I can't be the only teacher that finds parent-teacher conference time stressful, right? Part of the stress comes from the fast pace, limited time, lack of food and restroom breaks, late evenings, and the worry that you may have an unhappy family member. This year I am taking several precautions to help ease the stress for my parents and myself. I am actually looking forward to my conferences this year and think parents will feel the same. Here are my before, during, and after conference tips:

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Building Community in Your Backyard


Last year I opened up my home/backyard for a weekend cookout. It was the second time that I had a get-together at my house with a class, and both occasions were really fun.  So fun, in fact, I decided to start the year off with a get together at my house. This elaborate ice-breaker of sorts was not only fun for students but allowed parents to meet and greet each other in a relaxed setting. Learn how ours came to fruition and why I am making this a teaching tradition from now on. While the weather is still warm, you might consider a get together with your class as well.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Inside Angela's 4th Grade Classroom are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.