Villa Maria School PARCC Newsletter

Edition II

Practice Makes Prepared

We are all familiar with the phrase "practice makes perfect", but our mantra for PARCC this spring at Villa should be "practice makes prepared". We need to give our students the best opportunity to showcase the academic skills they have learned this school year and make the information they are going to encounter on the test familiar to them. The best way to accomplish that task is to have them practice items similar to assessment items in the classroom so they have been exposed to the content prior to the test.

New information is mastered through practice and repetition. Doug Lemov the author of Teach Like a Champion refers to term the AT BATS, as an analogy to baseball. He describes the best way to teach someone how to hit a baseball is to show them the basics, and give them as many "at bats" as possible until they are able to swing quick at level with their eyes closed. We want our students to have as many "at bats" as they can so they can knock the ball out of the PARCC (pun intended). Providing more opportunities for practice will also lower the level of anxiety students will feel when they are taking the test because it will be more familiar to them.

PARCC has released a series of practice assessments to assist schools in preparing for the assessment. Please review the site and give your students a practice test so they can familiarize themselves with the assessment. The practice tests can also be utilized in the media center/computer lab to help prepare for the eventual switch to an online assessment.

In addition to the practice assessments PARCC has also publicly released prior test items, student responses, and scoring guides. These items will give us a better understanding of what students need to do in order to demonstrate mastery of the common core standards and how that translates into success on the assessments.