With the implementation of a new statewide standardized test, teachers are anxious to figure out what they can do to get kids where they need to be. While I continue to read up on information about the test, I am more convicted than ever that the following statements must happen in order for us to see continued improvement in our students’ scores.
1. Reading and writing MUST be integrated seamlessly into all content areas. It simply isn’t enough for students to be intentionally reading and writing in their language arts classroom.
2. You must now consider that all of your students are in your AP or advanced class. Everyone has to experience the rigor. It is not okay to just “get kids to pass.” That idea simply won’t cut it any more.
3. In order for students to do well, they must READ like a WRITERS and WRITE like READERS. You can’t have one without the other, and teachers need to be explicitly interlocking the two together as they teach.
4. It is not about the test. We can want to see more released questions/examples and have more data from the state, or whatever, but that really isn’t going to get our kids to score any better. The only thing that will improve our scores is improved instruction that utilizes sound teaching strategies.
5. All kids have to read and write more! Practice makes perfect, or so they say…. Regardless, our kids that struggle with reading and writing simply haven’t logged enough flight hours. —Ok, that’s a generalization, I get there could be other reasons for kids struggling, but generally speaking, students who struggle need more authentic practice.