5 Steps to Improve Standardized Test Scores Success
Standardized reading tests are a major challenge for many students, especially for those with Dyslexia or Learning Disabilities. The math tests are very difficult for students with reading comprehension issues because the questions are either ambiguous and or very wordy. For the child, the threats include:
- They will be retained
- Being excluded from more enjoyable activities to get the second or even third dose of reading and math help
- Frequent testing that tends to reaffirm their issues
Parents are often frustrated that progress is minimal, despite a major investment of time, money and time. This article is designed to help parents understand that learning differences, vision and attention issues could all be playing a role. Reading comprehension, attention, vision, and test taking issues can all be major contributors to your child's success. Below we have outlined 5-steps that parents can take to help their child succeed on high-stakes tests and beyond with a holistic approach:
- Have a school or outside professional assess your child for reading, attention and vision issues. Over 75% of our students have two of the three issues and over 40% have all three.
- If your child has reading comprehension issues they may be a visual-experiential learner (i.e. excellent memory for places they have been and movies they have seen and learn best when they see and experience information). We call them: GOLD Students Gifted Operating with a Learning Difference When parents view their child as gifted and learning differently, it opens up a whole new way to explain prior challenges and to help them succeed. Two excellent books on the subject are Jeffrey Freed's "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World" and Dr. Linda Silverman's "Upside Down Brilliance" that describes gifted children who learn differently.
- If your child skips words or lines when reading, has trouble copying off the board or get headaches when reading, have their eyes checked by a Developmental Optometrist-go to www.covd.comto find one near you. There are two routes for improvement:
- a. Vision therapy done at the optometrist's office
- b. Exercises you can do at home
- Address the attention issue. Some people prefer medication; our bias is to use systems that address it naturally. We encourage natural solutions to both avoid the side effects and the challenges when the drug wears off -understand that an hour of physical exercise a day can be an enormous benefit. We also use the Interactive Metronome®, Brain Gym ® and Centering Exercises to help the student.
- Make sure your child gets the accommodations and test taking support they need. To get an accommodation at a public school for high stakes tests, it must be part of a formal plan done in conjunction with the school-based on your child's disability. For students with Attention Deficit Disorder, you can get the needed accommodations if your physician assesses the child and determines the ADHD significantly impacts their academic performance. Students with a combination of learning, attention and vision issues benefit from extra time and a quiet place to take the test. Extra time is very helpful for students who learn differently. You also want to consider having your child tested by someone who understands the way the test is written and who can teach the test taking strategies that work for them. We are 3D Learner. We started as very frustrated parents and professionals; then migrated to doing more traditional tutoring; and now see the benefits of a holistic approach that addresses:
- Teaching the child the way they learn best
- Addressing vision and attention issues
- Helping the child with both the right accommodations and test taking skills
About the author
Mira Halpert M.Ed. and Mark Halpert are parent-educators who have raised four children, two of whom had learning differences. They developed the 3D Learner Program®and speak nationwide on Parents and Professionals Helping Students Beat Dyslexia. To learn more about their philosophy you can either visit their website at www.3dlearner.com or call Mira and Mark at Toll-Free at 1-866-411-2578