Use The SPARKLY Notebook’s paired passages to help prep middle school students for tests. These are great resources for all ELA teachers.
Many of us teachers have different opinions about tests.
I think we can all agree that assessment is important; we want to be able to help students recognize where they are AND show them the potential of where they can go.
However, we also don’t want to focus TOO MUCH on assessment because there is so much more to education than tests, am I right? We would rather focus on ALL of the skills we know they are going to need for the future, not just assessments left and right.
It often seems like it is one or the other, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.
When it comes to teaching ELA, I have found the use of paired passages to be extremely engaging for my students. I am able to use a variety of reading material about a variety of interesting topics. Through these passages, I am able to release a waterfall of discussion and insight from my students that isn’t always flowing in our novel units.
Additionally, these paired passages are also where we can prep our students for those future tests. With these passages, students are:
- Utilizing higher-level thinking
- Reading an assortment of writing from a variety of authors
- Deconstructing questions and choosing best answers
- Learning about modern issues and topics
- Analyzing information for a specific purpose
And those are only a few of the benefits!
Oftentimes, my students enjoy the discussion that follows these passages because simply put, they are fun passages to read. I incorporate multiple-choice questions or short-answer questions in the mix as either pre-discussion topics or mini-assessment opportunities.
One of my favorite paired-passage is my Is Grafitti Art or Vandalism? paired passage. This Differentiated GOOGLE CLASSROOM READY Paired Text Set is on a high-interest topic and thus, had my students interested from the start! It is Common-Core aligned AND my students LOVE it! So check it out for yourself!
Paired texts are definitely a win-win!
Not sure how to utilize them in your own classroom? Or not sure if you have the time to come up with your own paired passages?
I GOT YOU!
Why create your own passages when I have already done the work for you?
If you want more information about test prep tips in general, check out this blog post! I talk about the use of paired passages as well as two other tips that have helped my students prepare both mentally and academically for future tests! Click here.