I went to a SAT prep class for Morgan today. This is the first year she will be tested. Although I am very confident that she will do fabulously, I still have slight anxiety at the thought of that what is truly being tested is my teaching. After receiving all the information today, I became a little more anxious. I realized some of the things we have spent little to no time on and she would be clueless about. As overwhelming as it was to sit and listen to the amount of information my child is expected to know, I am so glad I went. It was also nice hear from someone who has already been there, done that. She was able to speak from experience and give some of what works and what doesn't. So, here are my highlights that I took away from it. If your child is going to be tested this year and/or you have some other good tips to share, feel free.
As far as the test taking abilities:
Sharpen Pencils the night before and then dull them slightly. That's right. She explained that sharpened to a point pencils will slow the child down.
Give scrap paper that is college rule and teach children how to turn paper sideways to work Math problems. This will help them keep the numbers in the correct place value.
Teach them how to use scrap paper to cover answers as they go. This has a 2-fold reason. The first is the obvious to cut down on cheating. The second is to help the children to focus on the question at hand and not be distracted by earlier questions.
As far as knowledge:
Presidents order, names and money they are on.
Math (times tables, addition, subtraction)
Traditional Seasons (in Florida we don't see the change of leaves and snow and such)
Species (mammal, amphibian, etc...)
National Holidays (Dates and Names including Memorial, Veterans, etc.. and symbols associated with each)
These are the skills I will be working on more heavily for the next month and a half. I have gotten a couple of test taking skills books and I plan to get a couple more that she recommended. After that, I will see any other areas that need a little extra work.
I have to be careful not to allow Morgan to see my stress over this. I don't want her to be scared or intimidated from the start. She has already shown signs of that.