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April 20, 2010

The Dynamic Duo: Test Prep and Dramatic Productions

By Stacey Burt


    Before getting knee-deep in standardized testing, I spend time with students reviewing critical state standards and benchmarks that will be tested in the coming weeks. I try to vary the method of delivery for these reviews; however, one of the most entertaining for everyone is the incorporation of student-created productions.


    Test review is most important for those concepts that were taught very early in the school year. From games, to quizzes, to yes, dramatic plays, students are more likely to recall ideas and concepts if the format is memorable. I have incorporated original student productions in my classroom for years and just recently thought to add it to my growing list of ways to review for testing.


    School 2008-2009 134  

    (students presenting material in a talk-show format)


     

    The benefits of presenting material for review in this way is impressive:

    1. Writing Process-

    Students utilize the writing process during the planning phase of their iMovie, play, skit, commercial, rap song, or talk show. Getting ideas down on paper or laptop is always a requirement and practicing those writing skills helps all areas when it comes to state testing. It also gives the students that are more reserve the chance to contribute to the group’s project without having to get “on stage.”

    2. Information Recall-

    While creating an original production is fun, it also commands for the students to “get it right” when it comes to the concepts and skills that are involved. Students may have to research information again or explain it on a more thorough level. Revisiting material taught earlier in the year may provide students with opportunity to connect with more depth than when it was taught the first time.

    3. Self-expression-

    Students teaching students is not a new idea. Hearing and seeing information in a new way may help some students connect to the material in a way they hadn’t before. I have found that my students are able to present concepts that may be abstract and complicated, in a manner that their peers totally relate to and “get.”

    School 2008-2009 316

    So, when planning your test review for this year’s high stakes standardized testing, I hope you consider allowing your students to create the test review for one another through dramatic productions. They will love the opportunity to express material in their own way, and you WILL definitely be amazed and entertained.

    Best-

    Stacey


    Before getting knee-deep in standardized testing, I spend time with students reviewing critical state standards and benchmarks that will be tested in the coming weeks. I try to vary the method of delivery for these reviews; however, one of the most entertaining for everyone is the incorporation of student-created productions.


    Test review is most important for those concepts that were taught very early in the school year. From games, to quizzes, to yes, dramatic plays, students are more likely to recall ideas and concepts if the format is memorable. I have incorporated original student productions in my classroom for years and just recently thought to add it to my growing list of ways to review for testing.


    School 2008-2009 134  

    (students presenting material in a talk-show format)


     

    The benefits of presenting material for review in this way is impressive:

    1. Writing Process-

    Students utilize the writing process during the planning phase of their iMovie, play, skit, commercial, rap song, or talk show. Getting ideas down on paper or laptop is always a requirement and practicing those writing skills helps all areas when it comes to state testing. It also gives the students that are more reserve the chance to contribute to the group’s project without having to get “on stage.”

    2. Information Recall-

    While creating an original production is fun, it also commands for the students to “get it right” when it comes to the concepts and skills that are involved. Students may have to research information again or explain it on a more thorough level. Revisiting material taught earlier in the year may provide students with opportunity to connect with more depth than when it was taught the first time.

    3. Self-expression-

    Students teaching students is not a new idea. Hearing and seeing information in a new way may help some students connect to the material in a way they hadn’t before. I have found that my students are able to present concepts that may be abstract and complicated, in a manner that their peers totally relate to and “get.”

    School 2008-2009 316

    So, when planning your test review for this year’s high stakes standardized testing, I hope you consider allowing your students to create the test review for one another through dramatic productions. They will love the opportunity to express material in their own way, and you WILL definitely be amazed and entertained.

    Best-

    Stacey

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