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NYC Helpline: How To: Work with Students' Families

Preparing for High-Stakes Standardized Testing

Preparing the Parents - ELA Workshop Agenda   Lamson Lam

(Note: This agenda is based on a two-hour Saturday morning workshop.)


10:00     Test Material Distribution and Individual Conferences

Unfortunately, parents have always straggled in late to my meetings and workshops.  I try to discourage it, but invariably, it happens.  Therefore it helps to be prepared for this and the way I prepare is by giving out folders with general information and their child's graded test prep work at the beginning of the workshop as parents trickle in.  Since I invite parents and children to come together, parents can begin reviewing their child's work and they can begin discussing it with each other.  As I walk around welcoming families and passing our their packets, parents can ask me specific questions about their child.

10:20     Introduction to the ELA

I basically go over, or ask my kids to go over the handout called Introduction to the New York State ELA (Word Document). It includes:

  • -What to expect day-by-day, session-by-session.

  • -Examples of the different sessions and types of questions

10:45     Types of Questions and Strategies

I do a short walk-through of a practice test and discuss the strategies to answer the different types of multiple choice questions for day one  (Questions and Strategies Handout - PDF Document) and I review the types of writing activities for days two and three.

11:00     Mini Practice Test

Students actually take a pieced together practice test that I make with a section or two from different parts of old practice tests


11:30     Review the Practice Test

Parents and children do a large-group share on answers, strategies and mistakes


11:50     Ways to Help Your Child at Home

I explain what we will be doing in class and how parents can help support their children's preparation at home (Sample Handout- Parent Help)


12:00     Q & A/ Refreshments



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