ELA Test Prep Show & Tell

Try one of these 4 ideas for Middle School Reading Test Prep!  #ELA #Tips

At my school, the third quarter is winding down and after Spring Break, it will be "testing season".

So this post is all about my approach to test prep!

First, I will start with reviewing the basic reading skills of:
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Try one of these 4 ideas for Middle School Reading Test Prep! #ELA #TipsTry this or one of the other 3 ideas for Middle School Reading Test Prep! #ELA #Tips  
Pixanotes are a blend of traditional and visual notes!  (They come in 4 versions so you can reach all learners!)

This is how we used them:

First, students used the included word bank and partner to fill in the blanks.

Next, students matched up the pictures with the correct definitions.  This gives the students some practice with the definitions as they must ponder them as they decide where the pictures belong.

Then, I had students write questions under the flaps that could be answered with the text to the right.  This allows for a more full Cornell notes type experience.  

Now students were ready to practice with the definitions.  One fun way to do this is with a rousing game of ZAP!  My students love competition!

After my students have a frame of reference with the Pixanotes, then I look for creative ways to practice the skills.  This year, I am trying something new by using the picture book Miss Rumphius and a choice board/menu.  

Next, I will read them this e-book and go through the activities:

The idea behind the e-book is to help students understand that our big state test is like a championship.  Do athletes complain when they have to go to the championship?  No, of course not!  They're excited to show that they are the best!  So it should be the same with our state test.  It's a chance for students to proudly show what they know!

You can get this e-book for free when you sign up for my newsletter!

Lastly, it will be important for us to review the steps for successful test-taking.  I will be using this flipbook that I made:

This flipbook takes students through a step-by-step plan to use when reading the texts and answering the questions on a standardized test.  Since each step comes with an example to cut and glue onto the appropriate tab, this makes the steps that seem so abstract much more concrete for our students with learning challenges.  

I also have another flipbook for overall test taking skills and strategies:

I hope this gives you some ideas for how you might change up your ELA test prep this year!  

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I'm going to share these test prep ideas with my favorite fifth grade teacher. Good ideas. We are all about test prep now, aren't we :( See you around. Kathleen

  2. We will be gearing up to take the MSTEP right after spring break too. You have some great ideas (and freebies!) for getting your kids ready! Thanks for linking up!

    Forever in Fifth Grade


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