Test Talk: Integrating Test Preparation Into Reading Workshop

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Stenhouse Publishers, 2007 - Education - 140 pages
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Under No Child Left Behind, nearly every teacher faces a high-stakes balancing act; managing the often incompatible responsibilities of teaching students meaningfully or preparing them for standardized tests. Through their experiences teaching at a school that struggled to meet state test standards driven by NCLB, authors Amy Greene and Glennon Melton discovered a way to raise scores without compromising their strong beliefs about good teaching and learning. In Test Talk, Amy and Glennon share their story and their proven approach.

This compelling book shows that teachers don't have to choose between best practice teaching and test preparation; effective test-taking strategies can be integrated into authentic reading instruction. The authors demonstrate how to improve performance on tests without resorting to "teaching to the test,” mnemonic devices, or other gimmicks. Instead, they focus on encouraging student readers to explore tests as a specific genre containing unique language, format, and cues.

Concise and easy-to-use, Test Talk includes lesson plans and practice passages, as well as sample questions and suggested language to use during lessons. Throughout the book, classroom vignettes show how seamlessly one can weave the test genre into reading workshop and connect those specialized skills to more general reading strategies. It is an invaluable resource for any teacher who struggles with how to prepare kids for tests without sacrificing real teaching and learning.


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I found this book to be an excellent resource not just for teaching students about the format of the reading test and strategies but also because of the well designed lessons that are described. The lessons utilize authentic activities to increase student connections to the reading tasks. It also shows how to seemlessly integrate the concept of test talk into a real readers workshop setting. I am really looking forward to trying the techniques described in this book. Highly recommend for all elementary teachers. 

Selected pages


Chapter 1 Beyond Hope and Honeybuns Changing Our Approach to Test Preparation
Chapter 2 More Than Meets the Eye Developing Strategies That Help Readers Become Test Takers
Chapter 3 Whats It All About? Finding the Main Idea
Chapter 4 Motives in Messages Identifying Authors Intent
Chapter 5 Breaking the Code Studying Words
Chapter 6 Teaching the Art and Science of Poetry Fostering Poets
Chapter 7 Reading Between the Lines Inferring to Build Meaning
Embracing the Testing Challenge

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About the author (2007)

Glennon Doyle Melton is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Carry On, Warrior, and the memoir Love Warrior which was announced as an Oprah 2.0 Book Club pick on September 6, 2016. Glennon is also the founder of Momastery, an online community reaching millions of people each week. She is the creator and president of Together Rising--a non-profit organization that has raised over four million dollars for families around the world. Glennon is a sought-after public speaker and her work has been featured on the TODAY Show, The Talk, OWN, and NPR and in The New York Times, Ladies' Home Journal, Glamour, Family Circle, Parents Magazine, Newsweek, Woman's Day, and in other television and print outlets.

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