for High-Stakes Standardized Testing
ELA Parent Workshop
also: Preparing for the ELA in December)
By familiarizing your families with the test and what is expected
of their students, you can build a seamless partnership towards
Promoting your Workshop
your workshop and getting a high attendance rate is crucial.
In my school we often have very low attendance at parent events.
We have given school-wide Math workshops that have been attended
by only 3 or 4 parents. On the other hand, I have had very
high attendance rates at my test preparation workshops, including
one workshop on a Saturday morning which was attended by 22 out
of 25 students and 21 out of 25 of their families. Here
is my "secret:"
the Word Out Early and Often
students about the workshop every day for a week before your
workshop. Do this during morning meeting or your time for
a reminder in your student's homework every day the week before
up notices in the school (on the door, the PTA bulletin board,
out a letter about the workshop's importance and request that
the parents sign a confirmation of attendance. (Sample
Letter - PDF Format)
communication often never reaches parents and/or is often disregarded.
[Parents are inundated by paper throughout the school year].
Call every family either two days before the workshop or the
night before (if they have already confirmed in writing, I reconfirm;
if they did not confirm, I try to convince them to come).
the Importance of the Workshop.
the notices and the phone calls I remind parents how crucial
this test is to their child's promotion and middle school placement.
student work ready to distribute (preferably test prep work
to distribute to families). I like to have a mix
of class work and homework so parents can see some work that
they might have seen before and some work that they have not.
a fact sheet on the
ELA like this. (PDF Format)
like this. (PDF Format)
a mini practice test. I usually try to use one reading
passage with accompanying multiple-choice questions, and one
text with accompanying short and long answers. (the whole
mini-test should be finishable in at most 30 minutes).
a handout like this.
to have some form of refreshments available. Tell your
principal or PTA president what type of workshop you are doing
(it helps to give them the agenda), they may be happy to contribute
approximately $20-$30 to buy some bagels and juice.