My STEM Units

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Video-Based Questions

Is your "big stakes test" going digital?  Ours is.  Although we don't know everything about our new test yet, we do know that it will be digital and we have access to sample tests.

We also know that there will be video-based questions.  That just blows me away.  Our entire lives, we have read passages (on paper) and answered A, B, C, or D by filling in a bubble.  With the advent of the digital test, we now have alternative means for demonstrating understanding.  

Drag and drop. Calculators.  Typing.  Highlighting.  And viewing videos.  

If you can feel your heart racing and your blood pressure rising, it's okay.  We're here to help.

With a little guided instruction, your students will do just fine.  

But, what's a teacher to do?

View Your Sample Tests

If you are in Arizona, your sample tests can be found at the ADE website.  Click here.

If you are a PARCC state, click here.

If you are a Smarter Balanced state, click here.

There are usually sample tests for ELA and for Math.  I would also suggest taking the tests at the grade level under you and above you.

Make Note of the Prompts

What did you notice when you took the sample tests? How did they phrase questions?  Write down the testing vocabulary so you can embed that into your routines.  An example is, if you noticed they asked students to "justify their reasoning" on the Math test, you can use that phrase in class (often!).  Then, when the students take the Big Stakes Test, they will fully understand what that phrase means and they will be accustomed to answering it.  

If your test has video-based questions (AZ!), I have prepared a "cheat sheet" of prompts for you.  Click here to download and print.  Print on cardstock and cut in half.  Give one to a fellow teacher or stash one in your lesson plan book and one by your laptop.  

Embed Into Your Lessons

Chances are, you view videos with your students.  Maybe it's that video of how volcanoes form or maybe it's the cartoon edition of Aesop's Fables.  Start with something you already do.

Use the prompts on the cheat sheet to help you phrase your questions.

For more resources, click here.

Keep the conversation going.  How do you prepare students for video-based questions?

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