8 Test-Taking Tips for Multiple-Choice Questions

April 23rd, 2014 by TC Bear

Test Taking Tips Teacher Created Resources

Some multiple-choice questions are straightforward and easy. Some questions, however, stump even the most prepared student. In cases like that, students have to make an educated guess. An educated guess is a guess that uses what students know to help guide their attempt. Students select a particular answer because they’ve thought about the format of the question, the word choice, the other possible answers, and the language of what’s being asked. By making an educated guess, students increase their chance of guessing correctly. Share these test-taking tips with students before their next multiple-choice test:

  1. Read the directions. It’s crucial. You may assume you know what is being asked, but sometimes directions can be tricky when you least expect them to be.
  2. Read the questions before you read the passage. Doing this allows you to read the text through a more educated and focused lens. For example, if you know that you will be asked to identify the main idea, you can be on the lookout for that head of time.
  3. Don’t skip a question. Instead, try to make an educated guess. That starts with crossing off the ones you definitely know are not the correct answer. For instance, if you have four possible answers (A, B, C, D) and you can cross off two of them immediately, you’ve doubled your chances of guessing correctly. If you don’t cross off any obvious ones, you would only have a 25% chance of guessing right. However, if you cross off two, you now have a 50% chance.
  4. Read carefully for words like always, never, not, except, and every. Words like these are there to make you stumble. They make the question very specific. Sometimes the answers can be right some of the time, but if a word like always or every is in the question, the answer must be right all of the time.
  5. After reading a question, try to come up with the answer first in your head before looking at the possible answers. That way, you will be less likely to bubble or click something you aren’t sure about.
  6. In questions with an “All of the above” answer, think of it this way: if you can identify at least two that are correct, then “All of the above” is probably the correct answer.
  7. In questions with a “None of the above” answer, this of it this way: if you can identify at least two that are not correct, then “None of the above” is probably the correct answer.
  8. Don’t keep changing your answer. Unless you are sure you made a mistake, usually the first answer you chose is the right one.

Find more tips and practice passages in Nonfiction Reading Comprehension for the Common Core

4 Tips on Encouraging Healthy Habits for Kids

April 14th, 2014 by TC Bear

Healthy Habits Pledge_Teacher Created Resources

Incorporating fun physical outdoor games and indoor classroom exercises are great ways for teachers to encourage students to establish healthy habits. The National Health Education Standards & Common Core State Standards aim to support a whole-child approach to education-one that that ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in their learning. Here are a few tips for establishing healthy habits in the classroom.

 

  1. Share the Healthy Habits Pledge above with students and discuss each line. Challenge students to learn the pledge and share it with family members. The goal here is to inspire the whole family to focus on good nutrition and support healthy habits. Post the pledge in the classroom and review it from time to time as students gain more insights into personal health.
  2. Introduce daily exercise to your students. Use physical activities to start the day and/or to transition from one activity to another. Throw in an extra exercise on tough days, or use more than one when weather conditions inhibit outdoor activity. These short, physical exercise breaks are a positive way to settle students for their day’s work.  And don’t forget breathing exercises! They can be done at any time of day and can help refocus or calm students as needed.
  3. Gather and display reference materials for the classroom on topics of nutrition, fitness, and overall health. Resources might include library or trade books, magazines, posters, and kid-friendly materials printed from government websites.  If appropriate, save links to relevant websites in a dedicated folder on classroom computers.
  4. Encourage students to start collecting packaging and nutritional labels from food products. Explain that they will be learning to read them and using them for comparisons. Establish an area in the classroom where these can be stores or displayed.

For free sample pages, classroom exercises, and ideas see Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids.

 

 

Spring Bulletin Board & Activity: We’re Leaving Winter Behind

April 3rd, 2014 by Brenda Stickland-Guest Blogger

 

Spring Bulletin Board-Teacher Created Resources

Out with the cold, and in with the Spring! A few students helped me create this “We’re Leaving Winter Behind!” Bulletin Board. The background was white bulletin board paper painted with purple and blue streaks. Instead of doing traditional bunny faces, I decided it would be fun to show off their cute little bunny tails using cotton batting. The students helped paint the bunnies with brown paint.  The butterflies and ladybugs were die cut.  I used Blue Polka Dots Scalloped Border Trim and Blue Polka Dot Letters to match the sky.

Spring Bulletin Board-Teacher Created Resources

The flowers were made using students’  handprints. You can use paint to make simple flowers, or try something a little different. Below are instructions to make Tulip and Daisy handprint flowers.

Spring Handprint Flowers

Materials:5140 Spring Flower Template-Teacher Created Resources

  • Green, white, and pastel-colored construction paper
  • Multi-colored paper cupcake liners
  • Leaves and stems patterns
  • Pencils
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue
  • Free Leaves and Stems template

Instruction for Tulip Flowers:

  1. On a pastel-colored construction paper, have students place their hands face down with their fingers open and trace their hand.
  2. Have students cut out their hand tracing. Encourage them to round the base of the flower (palm of the hand) to create a tulip-like shape.
  3. Have students color and cut out the leaves and stems template.
  4. Glue the handprint flower to the stem.

Instructions for Daisy Flower

  1. Trace hands with fingers spread apart on white construction paper.
  2. Have students cut out their hand tracing.
  3. Have four or five students combine their handprints (at the palms) and attach them to the back of the cupcake liner to create a flower
  4. Have students color and cut out the leaves and stems template.
  5. Glue the flower handprint flower to the stem.

Additional Display Suggestion

  • Cover a display area or bulletin board to create a spring outdoor scene.
  • Use blue paper at the top for the sky. Add white, fluffy clouds and a sun.
  • Use green paper at the bottom for grass. Snip the edge of the green paper to give the suggestion of individual blades.
  • Add the “flowers” to create a spring garden. Encourage students to choose where to put their flowers. Ask them to use directional worlds like above, below, and beside.

For more handprint activities and idea see Handprints, Footprints and Holidays!

Spring Craft: Egg Carton Caterpillar

March 25th, 2014 by Portia Stewart

Caterpillar TCR-Art for All Seasons

This spring craft offers kids so much room for imagination and learning. This is a great craft to bring a butterfly life cycle lesson to life! This project requires some recycled egg cartons so this would also be a perfect classroom craft for earth day to demonstrate recycling and reusing materials for new projects.

Materials:

-Cardboard Egg Cartons
-Scissors
-Green Paint
-Paintbrushes
-Markers
-Pipe Cleaners
-Tape (optional)
-Wiggly eyes (optional)

Let’s Do It!

  1. Cut off the top of the egg carton, and cut the bottom half into two strips to make two caterpillars.
  2. Place the egg carton strips upside down so the hollow of the cups cannot be seen. Paint them green, then allow the paint to dry.
  3. Once dry, use markers to add details, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth, or glue on wiggly eyes.
  4. Cut two pipe cleaners into thirds. Insert one piece of pipe cleaner on the side of each cup to create the caterpillar’s legs.
  5. Cut two pipe cleaners into thirds. Insert one piece of pipe cleaner on the side of each cup to create the caterpillar’s legs.
  6. Inside each egg cup, bend down the ends of the pipe cleaners. Tape can be used to secure the antennae and legs.

Our little crafters loved the caterpillars so much they immediately took them to the trees so their caterpillars could eat leaves!

TCR Caterpillar-Art for All Seasons

Butterfly Life Cycle Idea: 

TCR Caterpillar

Have the students make butterfly wings out of construction paper and hold on to these for later. Keep the caterpillars in the trees. The next day, before the students come to class, add the butterfly wings to their caterpillars and put each caterpillar in a brown bag, like a chrysalis.  Hang them up in the trees and when they notice them, tell them we will have to wait and see what “those bags” could be.  The following morning, tear open the bags and have the caterpillars hanging half in and half outside the chrysalises, drying their butterfly wings.

More Ideas

-Add more personality to your caterpillars by using plastic wiggly eyes or construction paper for clothes and shoes.

-Other insects can be made from single sections of an egg carton. Try making ladybugs, painted black with red spots, or spiders, painted black with eight pipe cleaner legs.

-Obtain a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Putnam, 1969) and A Guide for Using The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the Classroom and try some of the creative writing activities and pocket chart patterns.

For more spring crafts and activities see, Art for All Seasons.