Although there may be a horde of teachers who have whittled it down to a perfect science, no teacher has ever been excited or invigorated by preparing his or her students for a standardized writing test.
And yet, it’s something that pretty much every one of us must do in one way or another.
Like it or not, our students’ futures will be full of high-stakes “test writing” circumstances — yes, AP and IB tests as they get into junior and senior year, the SAT and ACT, college placement tests, and even job interviews in which they will be asked to compose a piece of writing on-demand in hopes of securing a position.
It’s not fun, but it’s real.
So, we want to spend January letting you into the reality of our classrooms when matters of writing test preparation are at hand:
- To what extent do we “teach to the test” and to what extent do we let what we still know to be true and best about writing guide our instruction?
- How do we prepare struggling readers and writers?
- How do we prepare older students for AP test, IB test, and the SATs?
- How do we plan a workshop curriculum when standardized tests are looming in the distance?
- To what degree do we infuse test prep with writing workshop and writing workshop with test prep?
Regardless of the students sitting in your classroom this year, we hope that each installment will give you food for thought and inspiration for making this year’s test prep meaningful beyond test day! We’ll tackle these questions this month as we look ahead to the spring semester with a desire to prepare our students for what lies ahead on the test and in life as writers.