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study guides
Old 08-31-2006, 06:22 PM
 
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Hi everyone....

I was just wondering how many of you send home study guides for tests?? I do for social studies, science, and health. Sometimes I wonder if I should be sending home a study guide for these things though. When I first started teaching, I didn't send anything home, but the teacher before me did and parents were not happy that I had a test with no study guide. My daughter never brings study guides home for tests. I just go through her chapters with her and study the main points.

So just curious what others are doing with regards to this??

Deb


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unit test
Old 08-31-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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at the start of units that i will test over, i pass out a list of objectives and let students know that the test or culminating project will cover those. so they know for weeks what will be on the test--no surprises. i generally give 1-2 days in-class to study and provide them with some study tool (give time to make and practice with--foldables, flashcards,etc).

i teach 6th.

i also give 1-2 days time to review math concepts before a test--and i give "homework" for the students to practice--sometimes it's a half and half sheet where they do one type of problem on one side of paper and on the other side is a similar problem to solve at home. or they get a sheet of problems (one of every type that will be on test) and i put an answer key (and sometimes the actual work) on another sheet or upside down at the bottom for them to self-check.
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Notes Instead
Old 09-01-2006, 05:24 PM
 
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I let my students use the notes they take during the unit on the tests, which basically removes the need for study guides. I do type a study guide, or create one with the students, if for some reason I don't want them to use their notes on the test.
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In third grade...
Old 09-02-2006, 03:51 AM
 
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I send home study guides for every large math, social studies, and science unit I teach, with EXACTLY the same material that will be on the test. I send it home several days before the test, giving the students time to do it, and then the day before the test, we go over the S.G. together. The next day, when I give the test, I feel that those who did what they were supposed to do, will do fine on the test. Then, I know no parent can complain to me that I didn't do my part in preparing their child for the test, especially if the parents don't help with the study guide. Sometimes, I turn the study guide into a homework board game to play with parents just to put a more entertaining spin on it. Either way, parents always write little notes telling me how much they appreciated the opportunity to help their child study. It takes a bit more work, but I feel it helps cover me when it comes to students getting "surprise poor grades" on a test.
I actually started doing this because my father, who taught biology for 34 yrs., always gave out study guides with the EXACT SAME QUESTIONS that would be on his tests. The format of the questions might be different (fill in the blank vs. mult. choice), but same material. If you took the time to do the study guide, it was a guarantee that you'd do o.k. on the test. He never went over the study guides with high schoolers, or even required them to bring back the S.G., but he was always amazed by how many students still failed his class simply because they never bothered to do those study guides. It covered him in some sticky situations with parents who complained about their students' low grades too.
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Old 09-02-2006, 04:18 AM
 
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Tests are supposed to be based on the objectives.

I rewrite the objectives into kid friendly words. They meet in small groups to review for the tests by brainstorming everything they know regarding each of the objectives. then we go through them as a class and they can add to their notes. Works pretty well.


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Organizational tools
Old 09-02-2006, 04:53 AM
 
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Deb,

Please take this message with a grain of salt. I'm a Literacy Coach, not yet a teacher with my own classroom, so of course, I might be living in the "ideal classroom world" until I have a dose of reality.

I know as a mother of a son who has organizational challenge issues, it has been very helpful for him (and I) when the teacher provides a study guide.

His teacher last year's teacher did not do this and my son sometimes didn't even know what the test was going to cover - I ended up typing up a study guide myself (i.e., SS) and working with him on it. She never even had him write in cursive (see note later)

His teacher this year's is known for her organization (I requested her) and has done some very simple but helpful things (and it's only been 1 week!):

Color-coordinate folders and spiral binders for each subject
Provide list of key concepts for Social Studies, by chapter
Provide list of reading text vocabulary words with corresponding page numbers (students write the definitions, based on reading)
Provide graphic organizer for reading text that student fills out (includes review/prediction, character name, trait, evidence, setting, problem, solution, and inference-question)

This teacher has sent home a packet in a folder of cursive practice - apparently a few children in the class were not required to use cursive last year and their skills are weaker than the others.

My personal thought is that these organizational methods not only help with the work done in school now, but provide organizational tools that can be used in other areas later on. Organization is a learned skill and comes more easily for some students than others. Note taking is also a learned skill. We can choose to model them for the students so that they can see how they are used and how they can be translated into other areas of life.

Have you ever tried to train an adult to do something and they keep asking the same questions over because they never learned to and never thought to take notes? It's frustrating for them and for us.

Again, this is just my opinion. I am a very anal person. I was the student who counted the number of loose leaf pages in each section of the notebook to make sure they were even. I DO know how overwhelmed teachers are now-a-days. I just think it saves work in the long run if we can teach students the tools to be successful today. (nothing to do with giving answers, cheating, or anything like that) There are some things I wish I was taught early on.
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Need to look at material at least
Old 09-02-2006, 05:18 AM
 
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Last year my students were not doing well on their Daily Language and Daily Math (morning warm-ups) tests on Friday. I knew they were not even looking at the material on Thursday night when I reminded them to study.

Many don't know how to study or have the time or just won't. So, I helped them by requiring them to rewrite the entire week's DM/DL answers for homework. At least it got them looking at it.

Needless to say, their scores improved. I am repeating this skill this year and explaining to my students that this is one way they can study for tests in the future. Hopefully they will learn the best study skills for them and use them on their own.

I like the idea of a study guide with the same questions but in a different format from "Kat's Mom." I think I will use it.

Good question luv2teach77!
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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I teach first and I send home study guides for most of the Science & Social Studies units that we do. I send them home a week before the test.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:30 PM
 
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Hi Deb,

For all my Science and Social Studies Tests, I send home a Test Review. In the beginning of the year, my test reviews are very similar to my tests. As the year progresses, my test reviews become more generalized.

For example, on an October Soc. St. Test Review, I might say something like: What four states meet at the Four Corners? Then, on the test, it would read: List the four states that meet at the Four Corners.

Later, in April, a Soc. St. Test Review might say something like: Know why these people are important: Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Then, on the test, there might be a set of statements, where the students have to identify which of these three key historical figures performed a particular action. For instance: Who traveled on the Underground Railroad?

In other words, in the beginning of the year, my test reviews are very specific and they get more generalized as time progresses. The reason why I do it this way is because I am not only teaching the subject matter, but I also provide instruction on how to study.

I give my test reviews two days before a test. The children are given class time to work individually on it. Then, they take them home that evening to finish it and/or review it. The next day, we go through the entire test review together. The children check their own work and make corrections as needed. That night, the test review goes home for a second time for more studying. I collect the test reviews when I am ready to give the test. I count them in my grade book! Then, on the third day, I give the test.

For Reading and Math, I am always more general. For example, I might say: We will have a test on Friday in Math. It will cover addition and subtraction with regrouping.

Hope this is helpful! Have a great year! JKB
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study guides
Old 09-03-2006, 06:18 AM
 
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I teach fourth grade, and YES I send home study guides for Social Studies, Science, and Health tests. We complete the study guide together. For LD students, I send home a pre-typed study guide. The study guides have the basic information. The questions on the test may be multiple choice, T/F, or fill in the blank with a word bank provided. I also give 2 days to study. (If the study guide goes home on a Tuesday, the test would be Thursday.)


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Old 09-03-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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I send home a study guide for most subjects. I usually tell students a week in advance when their test is, and I send home study guides the day before the test. I don't want them to depend on the study guide; I want them to use it to make sure they covered everything while studying. I put very general topics. For example, I'll list the people they need to know about, but it's up to the student to study why the people are important. When I pass out the study guide the day before the test, we go over it together. Students do fairly well on my tests.
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thanks
Old 09-03-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for all the great responses!! I teach 2nd grade by the way. It's definitely good to know what others are doing in regards to helping build study skills!!

Thanks again,
Deb
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