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Ask the Teacher


Timed math facts, test success, reading stamina, standardized testing


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Encourage your daughter to set aside time for studying for short periods each day as soon as she knows a test is coming, or even in anticipation of a test at the end of a unit before a test date has been announced. Reviewing lessons daily will make actual test preparation much easier.

Kids typically lock in on one preparation strategy and keep using it whether or not it is achieving the desired result. Rather than rely on one method (oral quizzing, for example), try something different. Have your daughter write a test for you and then have her grade it. Write a song together using the key ideas she is studying. Have her create a cartoon that tells a story with the concepts that will be on the test.

It may take some experimentation to find out the most effective study strategies for your daughter, but the effort will pay off throughout her educational career.

My son is in fourth grade and reads fairly well. However, he does not seem to be able to read for very long periods. How can I get him to read for more than ten minutes at a time?

Learning to read for a prolonged period of time takes practice, just like most skills. Before your son starts to read, have him engage in something physically active for ten or fifteen minutes. Then, set a timer for ten minutes and read alongside him. When the timer goes off, time him doing something active for two or three minutes. Reset the timer for ten minutes and read some more. Repeat this daily for three or four days.

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