Through the years, I have been surprised when I received my standardized test results. There were always one or two students that scored lower than expected. I’ve also had surprises when grading work throughout the year. Students who seemed very capable when discussing stories orally, were not showing the same potential on paper. Rushing through their work and not paying attention to details seemed to be the cause of most of these surprises. Small words like “not” are important when answering questions. I’ve tried a variety of things to slow these students down. We circled important words of the sentence, rephrased question in the answer, highlighted details, and a variety of other techniques with modest success.
One of the teams I was on used a phrase called “steal and slide”. This catchy phrase seemed to work the best for my students. Probably because it is a sporty-themed phrase, boys and girls liked it and used it. Students are told they need to steal some of the words in the question to slide in the answer. I used this technique with students as young as first grade. With young students, we completed the questions together. I taped the question on chart tablet paper or a white board (see picture above). Then I wrote the answers on chart tablet paper and then had volunteers circle the words that were stolen. By the end of the year, my higher ability students were able to answer questions on paper using this method. This method makes students slow down and pay attention to every word in the question because they may want to steal that word for their answer.
I have a Henry and Mudge bundle which includes the following books: The First Book, Under the Yellow Moon, and Take the Big Test.
- There are 5 task cards for each chapter. There are answer cards included so this can be set up as a self-checking center.
- Punch a hole and put the task cards on a ring. The cards are small – the perfect size for small hands.
- There are 2 recording sheets for each chapter.One has lines and the other one doesn’t.