This is a much-needed resource for teachers who want their elementary and middle school students to be confident test takers, but who also want to avoid 'teaching to the test' all year. Denstaedt, Kelly, and Kryza provide a practical, 3-week unit of test-taking skills that will help teachers prepare students for tests using methods that are engaging and meaningful to students in Grades 3u8. Their fun approach teaches a set of effective metacognitive skills that transfer out of the classroom into students' lives and allows teachers to raise the appeal of test-taking as well as limit its domination of classroom time. This book is full of reproducible resources such as planning guides, models and examples of self-talk and think-alouds, annotated state exams, and more. The strategies help students excel at different types of test formats, including:Reading and analyzing textsMultiple choice questionsTrue-or-false questionsConstructed response writingWriting to a promptThe authors' analysis of state tests from around the country, which extrapolates the thinking and responding tasks that learners are expected to accomplish, will be invaluable to educators at all levels.
Linda Denstaedt has co-directed the Oakland Writing Project since 2002, where she has also been writer-in-residence for the past two years. Prior to her work for the Oakland Intermediate School District, Denstaedt taught tenth- through twelfth-grade English for 31 years. Denstaedt also taught creative writing, fifth grade, and physical education, and she was both the reading coordinator and the language arts coordinator for the Clarkston Community Schools at different points throughout her career. Since 1996 Denstaedt has been a prolific author of material on literacy and language arts education. She has also presented at over 50 international, national, regional, state, and county consulting workshops. Judith J. Cova Kelly is currently an independent literacy consultant with experience teaching elementary, middle, and higher education classes. Kelly has presented at national and statewide professional conferences on classroom structure, writer's workshops, reading comprehension instruction, and statewide assessment training. For the Michigan Department of Education, Kelly sat on a committee to revise grade-level content expectations. She has published one article on literacy in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan and she has another pending publication in the Michigan Reading Journal. In 2004 Kelly wrote and determined the implementation of a state grant for more than $1 million for the Monroe Public Schools. Kathleen Kryza consults internationally for her company, Infinite Horizons, and also presents nationally for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER). Kryza has more than 20 years experience in motivating and reaching children, educators, and others through her teaching, consulting, coaching, and writing. Her expertise is in working with students in special education, gifted education, alternative education, and multicultural education. She has a master's degree in special education and is an adjunct professor in special education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.