KMS Coaches' Corner

Have you ever looked at the scratch paper when you collect it after testing? What do you see?  “I *heart* Robbie” with a million hearts colored in? The student’s name over and over and over and over and over? Intricate highlighter designs?

Mr. Mueller has been wondering (and I agree!) if the scratch paper might be an untapped resource for our students during testing.  What can students do with the scratch paper that would help them on the Reading EOG?

·         Block off small sections of text to “chunk” it and not feel overwhelmed.
·         Cover up the answer choices and force themselves to produce an answer to the question BEFORE reading the choices. Then see which one matches best.
·         Guide their reading line by line, or paragraph by paragraph.
·         Divide or fold the paper into sections (one per passage) and write their purpose for reading, key words from the questions, or something else to refer to.
·         What else??? (Go to the coaches’ blog and share your ideas.)
S. Elvington
5/6/2010 08:25:57 pm

I have several recommendations for students when it comes to the scrap paper:
1. Jot down the jist of the questions, then as you read, jot down possible answers (I am a verbal/linguistic and visual learner and this helps me focus and I hear the question in my head as I write it.)
2. On math days, when you receive the blank paper and pencil and the teacher is reading the directions that you probably can recite in your sleep - take a few moments to write down your multiplication tables, if only the ones above five. This seems to turn on the math side of the brain for people like me who have no math side of the brain.
3. As a visual learner, I sometimes need to "see" the reading passage or the math problem. Creating a graphic organizer, timeline, venn diagram, etc. may help students "see" the question and the passage.
4. Are you aware that the distance from your the tip of the index finger to the first crease is roughly an inch? This can help students create a mini-ruler. However, this tip is now useless since most of the math pictures are no longer drawn to scale.
5. For the ADD/ADHD in all of us, tear a small window in the center of the paper (do this by folding the paper, several times and then gently tear along the lines) and allow the window to "frame" the passage or math problem. In this way, you cut off the distractors. (It also gives them a smaller piece of paper to use as a guide when they read poems or longer passages that want fit in the frame.)
6. Going back to math - have the students write down their fractions from 1/8 to 1: i.e., 1/8, 2/8=1/4; 3/8; 4/8=1/2; 5/8; 6/8=3/4; 7/8; 8/8=1. Also have them write down percent equivalents: 1/3 =0.33=33%; 2/3=0.67=67%; 3/3=1=100% (I think you get the idea).
7. Jot down the math formulas they are suppose to know before they any math problems and they go out the window.

S. Elvington
5/6/2010 08:28:00 pm

Just realized that I have several errors in my above rantings, please disregard as I am sure that I must still be asleep. (Better wake up quick - students here in 35 minutes.)

5/6/2010 08:34:51 pm

I LOVE the idea of covering answers, working them out, and then seeing if it matches one of the answers. This would be very useful with math! I'm going to practice doing that with the students. THANKS!! :)

Dan McDermott
5/7/2010 10:27:55 pm

Students can write down any words that confuse them on their paper while the read. They can then go back after reading a selection, read the word how it appears in context, then look for any clues for the meaning of that word.


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