In the Classroom
What Do I Teach After the State Test?
April 12, 2019
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Rachel Turner

@ChattanoogaChat

May is probably the best and hardest month of the year for teachers. “Springitis” is in full effect but pool time is oh so near! Many teachers have asked me, “What do I teach after the state assessment?” since they have already covered all of their standards. Sure, you could put a movie on everyday (if you want to receive less than favorable remarks from your administrator) but here are some more productive ideas for filling the time between testing and summer break:
  • Support the Next Grade Level

Check out the standards that students will be learning in your content area next school year. Create lessons involving those standards. Bonus: Tennessee teachers, check out the state blueprint for that grade level and focus on the units that are the largest portion of the state assessment!

  • Writing practice

Effective writing is a skill needed in every career, and helping your students improve their writing skills will also support every subject in your school. Don’t want to make your students write everyday? Try typing up a few different writing responses (one good example, one average example, and one poor example) and have them decide which is the best response! You can also write exemplary  responses on posters and place around the room. Have students participate in a gallery walk where they write what they think the prompt is for each response. These activities boost students’ reading skills and also models what a good response should look like.

  • Help Students Spot Fake News

 A skill that even many adults lack, deciphering between a reliable and unreliable source is something that many of our students struggle with. Spend some time helping them to check sources for accuracy, bias, and reliability. Google “fake news quiz” and several resources will appear that you can use in your lessons.

  • Remediation on Struggling Standards

Consider reviewing (or reteaching) standards that your students struggled with. Some teachers are lucky enough for their districts to offer benchmark assessments and data throughout the year. Use that data to determine which standards to revisit. If you have no data, you know your students best! Reflect on the year and choose standards that you know they could benefit by receiving some type of remediation on!

  • TN Social Studies Teachers: Explore the New Social Studies Standards

Take a look at the new Social Studies standards that will be implemented in 2019-2020. Create and try out lessons for new standards you are unfamiliar with. Do some reflecting on these lessons and decide what tweaks you need to make to make the lesson stronger for next year.

Rachel Turner is the Social Studies Content Lead for Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga, TN. She is a former Humanities TN Teacher of the Year, SCORE Fellow, America Achieves Fellow, Teaching American History Fellow, Fund for Teachers Fellow, and PEF Leadership Fellow. She also serves as a Hope Street Group Tennessee Teacher Fellow, engaging her colleagues in providing classroom feedback to the Tennessee Department of Education on public education policy issues.

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