Books I Use All Year Long To Help Students Succeed on Standardized Tests
5-Minute Daily Practice: Test Taking by Jacqueline B. Glasthal
Help kids succeed in class and on tests with these super-quick daily exercises that provide essential practice in academic subjects and test taking. Perfect for starting the day, engaging fast finishers, or reviewing skills.
Classroom Tip: In 3rd grade, I use the exercises about three times a week. They are a fantastic way to review and practice content from all subject areas.
16 Writing Lessons to Prepare Students for the State Assessment and More by Mary Lynn Woods
Working through short, focused writing tasks make the elements of good writing crystal clear for students. They will learn how to write dynamite beginnings and tie-up endings, choose exceptional language, include elaboration, and polish and proofread with confidence. Complete with rubrics, record-keeping forms, feedback sheets and more.
Classroom Tip: Forget the state assessment part; this is a great resource for teaching writing period. You will want it as a resource to use from September to June.
Analogies: Grades 2–3 by Linda Ward Beech
These 40 fun practice pages will help students recognize relationships between words such as part/whole, user/object, synonym, antonym, and more.
Classroom Tip: I put these out for morning warm-up work a few times each month. They are very useful for familiarizing students with analogies on standardized tests.
Great Grammar Lessons that Work by Lee Karnowski
From understanding parts of speech to learning from favorite authors to editing away grammar glitches, this guide helps students discover how language works. Lessons and companion activities harness the power of poems and picture books to teach grammar in a meaningful way.
Classroom Tip: The editing sections are great. This is an area our students traditionally find challenging on the standardized test and this resource offers great practice.
Nonfiction Passages With Graphic Organizers for Independent Practice by Alice Boynton and Wiley Blevins
Get kids reading nonfiction with these 30 high-interest passages on topics like space, natural disasters, famous Americans, and more. Comprehension questions, a graphic organizer, and a writing prompt accompany each selection, making these easy to grade homework that's linked to the standards.
Classroom Tip: A must-have resource for teaching students how to approach a passage that may include an unfamiliar topic.
Vocabulary Word-of-the-Day Writing Prompts by Martin Lee, Marcia K. Miller
A rich selection of vocabulary words is correlated with the calendar to support vocabulary development all year long. Includes kid-friendly definitions, common synonyms and antonyms, and prompts that inspire a range of writing genres.
Classroom Tip: Vocabulary scores in our grade have been an area of concern for some time. I started to use this book in September of this school year and could quickly see a difference in the way students began using more expressive language in their daily writing pieces.
Week-by-Week Homework for Building Reading Comprehension & Fluency: Grades 2–3 by Mary Rose
This best-selling resource includes short passages perfect for 2nd and 3rd graders. Students can take these passages home with the companion comprehension activity to practice reading with parent support. Includes easy parent tips.
Classroom Tip: I send one of these home each Monday to be due on Friday. I've been so pleased with the results. It makes a difference anytime you can find a way to have parents involved in student learning.
Week-by-Week Homework for Building Reading Comprehension & Fluency: Grades 3–6 by Mary Rose
Can a once-a-week homework activity really boost reading fluency and comprehension? Yes! Features one-page reading passages, a couple of quick comprehension activities, and parent tips.
Classroom Tip: This book is formatted exactly like the one above. Because of the reading level, I use passages from this book with advanced readers early in the year and with beginning readers later in the year.
Professional Resources Designed Specifically for Test Preparation
8 Practice Tests for Reading and Math: Ready-to-Go Reproducibles (Grade 3)
The eight ready-to-reproduce practice tests are a great way to boost student confidence and make test prep easy for you. These practice tests are designed to look and read like state and national tests, like the TerraNova, ITBS, CTBS, and MAT.
Classroom Tip: Very easy-to use-resource and especially great if you want a simple resource that covers both subject areas at once.
10 Ready-to-Go Math Performance Assessments by Ruth Melendez
Ten performance assessments ask students to perform problems like tallying purchases for a charitable shopping spree or designing an event for the Measurement Olympics. Then you can assess their mastery of mathematical skills and their ability to apply these skills to real-world problems. Each assessment is correlated to the NCTM standards and comes complete with a student sheet, simple scoring rubric, teaching tips, and sample student work.
Classroom Tip: These quick assessments help you determine how students are performing in many areas frequently measured on standardized assessments.
24 Nonfiction Passages for Test Practice (4-5): Ready-to-Go Reproducibles by Michael Priestley
These high-interest, ready-to-reproduce nonfiction passages contain how-to guides, letters, news stories, advertisements, and companion questions.
Classroom Tip: These short passages are very good for teaching the strategies you want students to use when answering questions like highlighting and looking for key words.
75 Language Arts Assessment Tools by Mary Sullivan
The rubrics, checklists, rating sheets, evaluation forms, and other easy-to-use tools help teachers assess student achievement in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. In addition, there are sheets for evaluating specific work products, such as summaries, editorials, oral presentations, and many others.
Classroom Tip: The results of your standardized test should never come as a surprise to you. This resource will help you find out exactly where your students are and what you need to do to help them grow academically.
Hands-on Writing Activities That Get Kids Ready for the Writing Assessments by Susan Van Zile
Includes exciting lessons such as the Great Paragraph Race, Super-Size Paragraphs, Building Paragraph Models, and lots more!
Classroom Tip: These lessons are geared toward teaching to the varying multiple intelligences, reaching all of the learners in your classroom.
No Sweat Bubble Tests: Nonfiction Passages With Short Tests to Get Kids Ready for Standardized Reading Tests
Engage students with nonfiction passages that cover a wide range of topics, including children who worked in California's Gold Rush, the real story of Yankee Doodle, dangerous Arctic explorations, the history of bubble gum, and more. Then assess students' reading comprehension with quick companion bubble tests.
Classroom Tip: The content and format of these tests are perfect for helping my students prepare for the Iowa Test. Most of my 3rd graders have never used "bubble" format before, so these practice sheets cover both comprehension strategies and proper answering techniques.
Scholastic Success with Tests: Math Workbook Grade 3
These practice tests are designed to look and read like state and national tests, like the TerraNova, ITBS, CTBS, MAT. The eight, ready-to-take practice tests are a great way to boost confidence and make test prep easy for you.
Classroom Tip: I find the included skill chart helpful for analyzing individual and class results.
Scholastic Success with Tests: Reading Workbook Grade 3
This ready-to-use book offers 15 grade-specific practice tests designed to mirror state and national tests like the Terra Nova, ITBS, CTBS, and MAT. Also includes bubble-style answer sheets and advice on how to best administer the tests.
Classroom Tip: After reviewing strategies, I send pages from this book home with students I feel could benefit from additional practice opportunities.
Super Strategies for Succeeding on the Standardized Tests: Reading/Language Arts by Sara White
Model lessons and practice pages use specific test formats so students get comfortable with the skills and the language of these exams. Covers vocabulary comprehension, punctuation and capitalization, choosing topic sentences and combining sentences, research skills, and spelling.
Classroom Tip: Read this book especially for the insightful tips it gives to teachers. I have used many of the practice sheets to help familiarize students with the different types of questions found on standardized tests.
This is a great book to read before testing season begins
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; illustrated by Lane Smith
The students of Diffendoofer School celebrate their unusual teachers and curriculum, including Miss Fribble who teaches laughing, Miss Bonkers who teaches frogs to dance, and Mr. Katz who builds robotic rats.
Classroom Tip: There is no better reminder that teaching to a test cannot compare to the results you will get if you actively engage your students and simply teach them to become thoughtful independent thinkers.