We've officially started preparing for our fast-approaching ELA test coming up in January. I wanted to pass along these tips. Not to make too big a deal of it, but these are simple tips that 4th graders are expected to do in ALL of their work, and can make a difference for a HIGHER SCORE on the test, believe it or not!
*Practice writing in answers (short answers, graphic organizers)
*Practice essays and essay structure (turn question into thesis statement, 3 pieces of evidence, introduction, conclusion - restate thesis statement)
*HANDWRITING MATTERS! Practice using the lines and ALWAYS using legible handwriting
*INDENTING PARAGRAPHS matters! Students may also skip lines, in addition to indenting, for each new paragraph. 4th graders at this point are EXPECTED to organize their writing into paragraphs! We work on this at school A LOT!
*Spell words that are given in the text/questions CORRECTLY!
*Length matters -- try to write long, reminding kids that REPETITION IS BETTER THAN RAMBLING (without overdoing it!)
*Practice reading many SHORT passages, and keeping kids to a time frame. Build stamina by building up the number of short passages over weeks. Remember there are 5 passage on the 4th grade test! There were only 4 last year.
We are working on ALL of these in school, but our kids are asked to do more than they needed to on the 3rd grade test, so please help by using the tips above to reinforce these at home. Your participation really matters & helps tremendously.
Let me know if you have any questions, and remember that we don't want to overdo it and overwhelm our kids -- a little bit 3x a week should be plenty on top of what they are getting at school.
General info on testing, as well as practice tests you can USE AT HOME!
Ed Helper: customize test prep materials to print and use
4th grade skill builders - scroll down to the green section for ELA
Online test maker - customize short answer, fill in the blank... Try finding an interesting article your kid would enjoy and making up a few questions to go along with it. Good resource.