Helping your child prepare for EQAO assessments

It’s that time of year again. Students across Ontario will  soon be writing the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) provincial assessments in reading, writing and mathematics. Grade 3 and 6 students write their tests during the weeks of May 25 – June 8, and the Grade 9 tests are written between June 1 and 14, 2016.

These tests may cause some anxiety for students…and parents too. Teachers work with students to help prepare them for the tests, but there are some things parents can do to get them ready for test day.

  • Visit the EQAO website and check out the parent and student resources available. There you will find sample questions, formula sheets and other helpful tips. You’ll also find the What Parents Need To Know About Province-Wide Testing guide.
  • Speak with your child and teacher about what’s being done in the classroom. Teachers use the resources from the webpages listed above. They take the sample questions and focus on teaching specific strategies, such as highlighting the important words to determine what the question is asking. This helps students better understand questions. Students learn to show their work for numeracy questions, practice answering multiple-choice questions and answering questions within a certain amount of space.
  • Parents can help their child answer the ‘W’ questions. Ask the “Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How)” questions about things they’ve seen or done that day, and about stories you read together. This helps children explain their answers and think about responding with a longer answer.
  • During the lead-up to the EQAO test, try to make sure your child doesn’t have to leave school during the day for appointments. A lot of material is covered each day, and this is an important time for students to be in the classroom.
  • Rest up! Rest is important all the time, but during times when students might feel some extra pressure, a little extra rest goes a long way.
  • Encourage your child to be persistent when working through the questions. Learning to cope with a challenging question without giving up will benefit students during EQAO tests, as well as through life.
  • Make it fun! Teachers use creative and exciting ways to incorporate EQAO prep into their classroom. For example, at one school, teachers and students go through previous tests and play Deal or No Deal—the teacher gives students feedback and they can act on it to improve their work. They also let students become the EQAO markers and review their classmates’ work and provide feedback to their peers.

The main thing to remember is to not worry. These tests are important, but are just a small snapshot of student achievement. There are various ways schools support and assess student achievement throughout the year.

What are some ways you help your child/students prepare for these provincial assessments? Share your stories in the comments below.

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