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April 13, 2021

ELA Review - Shout Outs for Great Resources

In one week the kids will be taking the ELA state tests. You know, the tests that I didn't think would actually happen, but it's now back on... hmmm... I think I have figured out a game plan for testing... But first it’s last minute review time. We have been spiral reviewing all year, and with ELA they either know it or they don't.  But usually they do... I finally settled on a last minute cram plan over spring break - in class vs homework, whole group vs breakout groups. All with the knowledge that in just 5 days my class will not be altogether much anymore. It will be 3 separate groups, moving at their own paces, as I am with the kids testing for hours upon hours...

Back to ELA...
When I moved from 4th to 5th grade I didn’t really know what to expect for state testing, I mean I knew it would be similar, but there's the additional pressure of learning something new.  Jennifer Findley made it easy with her blog posts and her resources.  I met her in real life years ago at a conference, she was so friendly and personable.  I felt like I could trust her advice, so with the move to 5th grade, it was easy to trust her blog.  Today I wanted to share some links that I have found helpful.

Her blog posts about testing... she even has a some free resources. I'm all about not recreating the wheel... I use her post about Test Taking Strategies throughout the year.  I use her free Reading Test Prep Helpers as reference in their notebooks.  I also use her 10 Days of Test Prep Freebies and then have modified to fit my own classroom.  I also use her Test Prep Coloring Pages to help relieve some stress...

This week I am using her Reading Test Prep Task Cards whole class, a handful of questions per day. The last couple of years they have helped to hit all of those standards one more time. I have them printed and will snap a picture to add to our morning conversation. That way the kids at home can click the picture and enlarge it on their own screens. I will then put my copy under the ladybug so kids in class can also follow along.

I also purchased her ELA task cards Rock the Test task cards. I have those prepped for one day to slide into our color channels. It’s a couple pages of task cards per skill. One center per color channel. The kids will get into breakout groups to have a race, and will slide through the rainbow together, answering questions. My in class kids will use their pouch of Brain Flakes to show off what color (aka center) their team is currently working on. 

Rock and Roll theme - I bumped it up a notch and brought in my son’s musical decorations from his bday celebration, and even bought a banner to keep at school. The kids went nuts yesterday when they walked in and saw it. 

Another day we will be working through Jennifer's Survival themed Reading Review.  It's all about survival this year... This is both informational and fiction.  There's also a cute bulletin board prompt to put up.  

For Homework, the kids will be doing another set of review task cards by forkin4th. I'm uploading the task cards to their TEAMs assignment, and the kids will fill in their answers on a separate page before uploading.  

I also like to put these little testing notes by Math Mojo on their desks for testing days.  Just a little something to let them know that I know it's not fun, but that I'm proud of them for their perseverance.

All these resources have helped me keep my sanity in the jump to 5th grade.  I use other things for all year long, most that I've found and bought, some that I've created. I'm the type of person that needs to know that something works before I will buy it, so that was my hope today. Just in case you didn't already know these existed.  These are great review and they are awesome.  I hope this helps you!

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