You want your struggling student to do the best he possibly can on assessments, but you also want accurate results. Should you give him special accommodations for testing? Today on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris and HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Faith Berens discuss preparing and accommodating your struggling learner.
Faith, we’ve been discussing how parents of struggling learners can use regular assessments with their students. How can they prepare those students to do their best on a test?
Well, I like to tell parents to use practice tests and to instruct their child in the format of the test they’re going to be using, so they can familiarize their children with the layout as well as the language and the vocabulary that will be used in the test questions.
And, of course, we all know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep the night before the testing, and eating a well-balanced breakfast the morning of the test.
Faith, would you tell me about testing accommodations? About how and where they should test their kids?
Sure! This is a question we get frequently. We always recommend that parents adhere to the test publisher’s administration and standardization requirements. But if your child has been diagnosed, and they have a document learning disability or a special need that would warrant accommodations on the test, then we suggest that they give things like extended time, or the teacher/parent may be able to read aloud portions of the test to the child. Also, maybe allow for the student to mark in the test booklet, and then the parent transfer the answers onto a bubble sheet, if that’s the format of the test booklet.
Faith, thanks so much. This is going to help a lot of parents out there. I’m Mike Farris.