Even though I teach special education students in a resource classroom, I am still expected to teach the general education curriculum and give the assessments that accompany the district-mandated curriculum.
My students do have accommodations listed on their IEPs for testing, but I want to give them as much support as possible to help them succeed. These are some of the tips I use in my classroom that have really helped my students show mastery on grade level assessments.
My number one tip is to staple your tests like a book, not in one top corner. I know this is a little more time consuming on your part but so worth it. Flipping pages over, especially on double-sided copies, can be so confusing for struggling students.
For our math workbook pages, I am very explicit in my instructions, such as "open, flip over, look for the picture of the blue bird" or whatever is on the page. This helps make sure we're all on the right page.
Our reading tests, have an oral portion where students have to listen to my directions. Unfortunately, this part of the test is in the middle. Strange place to put it if you ask me. I always have my students turn to this page and do this portion first.
After we have done the oral and grammar portion, we turn back to the story. Even though my students have accommodations, I cannot read the story to them. After all, it is a test of reading and not a test of listening comprehension.
I always go through the test first and figure out which portion of the text refers to which questions. On this test, question numbers 1 and 2 come from the first page of the story. I tell my students to read the first page and raise their hand. That way my faster readers aren't waiting on my slower readers, and my slower readers aren't rushed.
Once students read the first section of the text, I have them turn and answer just the questions that pertain to this section. This is huge in helping my students answer comprehension questions successfully. By breaking up the text, my students don't feel so overwhelmed.
I tell my students to raise their hands after they have answered questions numbers 1 and 2.
Then I turn the student's page back to the next section of the text that they need to read and repeat the process all over.
The downfall to testing this way is that I do A LOT of walking around from student-to-student. If I wore a Fitbit, I know I'd have way more than 10,000 steps on testing days. But I will say the effort on my part is worth it to see my students succeed on grade level assessments.
How do you accommodate students on testing days in your classroom?