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Under No Child Left Behind, nearly every teacher faces a high-stakes balancing act; managing the often incompatible responsibilities of teaching students meaningfully or preparing them for standardized tests. Through their experiences teaching at a school that struggled to meet state test standards driven by NCLB, authors Amy Greene and Glennon Melton discovered a way to raise scores without compromising their strong beliefs about good teaching and learning. In Test Talk, Amy and Glennon share their story and their proven approach.
This compelling book shows that teachers don't have to choose between best practice teaching and test preparation; effective test-taking strategies can be integrated into authentic reading instruction. The authors demonstrate how to improve performance on tests without resorting to “teaching to the test,” mnemonic devices, or other gimmicks. Instead, they focus on encouraging student readers to explore tests as a specific genre containing unique language, format, and cues.
Concise and easy-to-use, Test Talk includes lesson plans and practice passages, as well as sample questions and suggested language to use during lessons. Throughout the book, classroom vignettes show how seamlessly one can weave the test genre into reading workshop and connect those specialized skills to more general reading strategies. It is an invaluable resource for any teacher who struggles with how to prepare kids for tests without sacrificing real teaching and learning.
About the Author(s)
Table of Contents
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Foreword by Franki Sibberson
Chapter 1: Beyond Hope and Honeybuns: Changing Our Approach to Test Preparation
Chapter 2: More Than Meets the Eye: Developing Strategies That Help Readers Become Test Takers
Chapter 3: What's It All About? Finding the Main Idea
Chapter 4: Motives in Messages: Identifying Author's Intent
Chapter 5: Breaking the Code: Studying Words
Chapter 6: Teaching the Art and Science of Poetry: Fostering Poets
Chapter 7: Reading Between the Lines: Inferring to Build Meaning
Conclusion: Embracing the Testing Challenge