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Testing is used in schools for two main purposes. One is to find out how well an individual student is learning in the classroom. For instance, teachers can test how well a child is responding to reading instruction by using assessments that measure specific skills necessary for fluent reading.
The other purpose is to find out how well the school is meeting local and national benchmarks for student achievement. For this purpose schools use standardized tests, usually administered in the spring.
Take a deep breath. Step away from the flashcards. As a parent, the most important way you can help your child do well on tests is to read with your child regularly, talk with her about her experiences, and provide a quiet work space at home.
When well-meaning parents focus too much on test results, they put undue pressure on young children. For kids who struggle with attention or memorization tasks, testing can be extremely stressful because it requires students to draw entirely on these skills.
To help prepare for routine classroom assessments:
To help prepare for standardized tests:
Ask the teacher to share the results of standardized testing to see if your child’s performance on the test is consistent with his or her performance in the classroom. Meet with the teacher about any concerns you have.
If you are interested, you can also ask how the school compares to other schools in the district, state, and across the country.
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