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Uncategorized   |   Feb 5, 2009

21st century test prep

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

21st century test prep

By Angela Watson

Are your students overloaded with outdated, irrelevant test prep materials that do nothing to prepare them for real life tasks?

The solution is simple!

Don’t despair and start giving relevant, authentic assignments that involve research and reference on the internet. Instead, just distribute a worksheet with a picture of a computer screen on it!


This clever idea can be used with ANY 20th century reading passage. Simply keep the screen shot of the internet tool bars featured on the top portion of the worksheet and replace the web page info with any other dull article that needs a 21st century makeover. Be sure to attach lower-level thinking multiple choice questions to accompany your “web page”.

Meeting the needs of 21st century learners has never been easier! If you provide practice activities that give the illusion of technology integration, your students are sure to become viable members of the 21st century workforce in an equally illusionary way.

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. Ahhhh yes – the test prep materials. My 4th graders are required to stay after school 3 times/week for aggressive test practice. Since I stay with my own students, I use that hour as an extension of the day’s instruction, responding to something we’ve read, writing a short story, reviewing and enriching the day’s math, using classroom computers to research a piece of info. needed to finish up a project. In the meantime, I’ve accumulated several folders of worksheets provided by admin.(that resemble the one you show here) – open-ended math problems with accompanying rubrics, writing prompts, painfully, tiresome reading passages with questions. I hate to use them! I won’t!

    Too bad folks don’t commit to plain old GOOD, EFFECTIVE TEACHING….. I so feel we’re/they’re doing it all wrong!

  2. Cassy: Good for you, not using all of those useless worksheets that you know aren’t best for your students. I’m curious: Do you think staying after school 3 days a week is helping your kids or burning them out?

    Brazen: You’re lucky you checked the weather bar during a cold snap. Better stick to your RSS feed during the coming week. 😉

  3. Angela – Last year, the kids were totally burnt/burned(?) out, but this program was "required"… the princi. worded the letter home just-so,making parents feel they HAD to let their kids stay.

    This is hurtful, especially for mine, as they're ELLs and required TWO state assessments – one for the CCCS (early May) and the other for English language acquisition (late April). Our princi. doesn't seem to worry though. In fact, this year, the test prep after school program started earlier, a session Sept. to Dec., and another now running Jan. to May, ending right before the test.

    Princi. asks all gr 3 & 4 teachers to stay w' their own classes – and when some/many can't/won't, she fills in the gaps with the newbies or lower grade staff. Personally, I give in to her rants and stay all three days because they are my kids, and I try to make it as painless as possible.

    Please pardon the rant – frustrated here. 🙁

  4. Cassy: Yeah, if it makes it easier and more painless for your kids, it’s worth it. I admire your dedication. Please feel free to rant anytime. I get it. 🙂

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