It’s the not-so-favorite time of year - state testing. And while students may agonize and teachers may groan at the thought of another year of standardized testing in the midst of whatever this new normal is, it’s up to us to prepare our students the best we can. Here are six ideas to help you prep for the test prep season. 1. Get organized This applies to you as well as your students. Think about your game plan. What are you going to accomplish? “Prep for state testing” is too broad a statement. Think about specific tasks, specific knowledge your students need. Think about how you’ll organize your students and how much time you will need. Don’t add more stress to the situation by going in at the last minute with packets you found on the internet but didn’t have time to vet. Be methodical in what you plan. If you’ve waited until the final hour, focus on one or two main test prep areas: writing with evidence or focusing on listening skills. 2. Try something fun Students don’t need endl...
Today is National Grammar Day. As English teachers, grammar is something that is always on our minds. We think about grammar as we create lesson plans and as we grade our students' essays. We think about it as we casually surf the Internet, and we think about it as we see typos and errors on billboards and grocery store circulars. Correct grammar and language usage comes easily for some people. It is something that probably comes easily to most English teachers. IFor us, it's almost like second nature to use the correct verb form and  make subjects and verbs agree. However, for some, grammar doesn't come as easily. This is something I've come to see in my own students -especially my ESL students. These are the students who really struggle in my class. They don't struggle because they aren't trying or don't care . They struggle because they lack the necessary language skills and background knowledge. The most important thing to remember about these s...