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Testing Accommodations for the Primary Classroom

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.

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

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.

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

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.

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

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.

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

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. 

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

 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.

Do you need to provide accommodations on testing for special education students or other struggling students? I've explained some of the ways that I've helped my students be successful on tests.

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?

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for giving me the useful information. I think I need it!

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  2. I like the ideas about breaking the text down by questions. However I'm not sure I agree with the part about not reading the test to them. I teach resource, grades 4 and 5, using reading wonders. I have two grade 4 students who read at a grade 1 level. Without the test being read to them, there's no way they would pass a grade level assessment.

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  3. Overall that's good information.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I do agree that many students require some type of accommodation. The grade should reflect what the accommodation was in order for the student to take the test. If the student needed the test read to them, the grade should be lowered.
    In my classroom, I try to create a peaceful environment. Students are separated and some even prefer to lay on the floor. Quiet instrumental music plays in the background to block out any distracting noise.
    Thank you for your article.
    Tami Wall

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