2003 Conference Proceedings

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Peggy Dalton
Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group
Email: PeggyD@freedomscientific.com

There are many reasons LD students struggle with examinations. Factors for success in test taking preparedness include how well students know the material, how prepared they are, what their abilities/strengths are, the accommodations they receive for testing, how well they understand the type of test they are taking, and knowing specific test taking strategies.

By approaching test taking as a learning tool special educators can drastically change how students respond to examinations and increase student enthusiasm for learning by giving tests a new role. The key is to think of tests as teaching tools, not just as a means to evaluate learning after it has occurred. Knowing exactly what educators expect students to learn - that is, what they will eventually test for - before they start teaching, will help teachers develop focused, goal-directed lessons and learning and keep them on track when creating tests.

In this presentation we will demonstrate how educators can teach commonly used test-taking strategies to LD students and we will demonstrate and explore how the company's newest product, is being incorporated into classrooms and used to aid students to be successful with Test Taking.

The Test Talker software is a talking program that is a test-taking, forms completion, worksheet-fill-out product. It allows users to access tests and other scanned in forms.

Thinking of students, as partners in testing will help foster a positive attitude about examinations. When discussing testing with students, it is important that teachers let students know:

Pre-Test Strategies

We will discuss some of the following strategies:

Define the scope of the test. One of the chief reasons students say they don't do well on a test is that they didn't know what was going to be on it. Tell students the exact format of the test and carefully outline the topics that will be covered. Experiment with these formats using TestTalker.

Ask students to identify what they believe will be hard for them to learn and come up with how they will work to learn it. This will make them active participants in their education and facilitate planning lessons that can help them before a test.

In summary, we believe that by using this approach teachers will stay focused on what they are teaching, help them be aware of how well their students are learning, and ultimately aid LD students in becoming more proficient - and more successful - learners and Test Takers.

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