It is very difficult for teachers to not think about test prep, therefore words of encouragement to assist them in organizing their thoughts as to how to continue to deliver rich lessons with student engagement is the key. The usualy suggestive activities include:

-PLC meetings to dicsuss content: The revised mathemaics teks cannot sometimes be understood in isolation. Having a team of individuals to discuss the related teks to be taught is helpful.

-Know your students: Utilize data from assessments and classroom performance to devise a plan for students to fill in the learning gaps that they need to develop inorder to master concepts.

-Research Based Strategies: Teachers need to know that the strategies needed for success are the research based strategies that they have used all yaear long. Changing to a strategy that someone has advised to be successful for testing that has not been tested to be of educational value is not the key to success.

– Small Group Instruction: Set goals for students being pulled out for small group instruction to clarify or extend mathematics concepts being explored.

-Stress understanding mathematical language: Students need to know and understand the correct language of mathematics. Developing an understanding of the language of mathematics helps students relate verbally to mathematics in real world problems.

In all conversations with teachers, encourage them to understand that they are valuable individuals that are making a positive difference in the lives of the students that they teach.

]]>Leaders are in a position to facilitate teacher growth. Leaders can model those active learning strategies or show a video of a teacher successfully using a strategy. Teachers must buy in to the idea of the strategy before they will ever try it in. Their classroom.

]]>To help teachers with active learning strategies, leaders should model lessons that incorporate those strategies and even help them create lessons that will hi-lite active learning.

]]>I think it is important to not stress out about STAAR, and to not stress out students about it either. If students are feeling too much pressure to perform, I believe that can lead to a decrease in performance due to test anxiety. This year I am making a conscious efforts to not even mention STAAR to my students. Last year I caught myself telling students that they need to know something especially because it is going to be on the STAAR test. This is a horrible thing to tell students because they do not need to learn something because it is on some test, they need to learn what we teach because it is integral to their education and the development of their mind.

]]>