What are some ways that you inform students and parents about KOSSA testing? How do you motivate them to study on their own? How do you recognize those students that pass? What works for your school?
We cook for them. This year our kids are testing in the afternoon so we will make chili and sandwiches allow them to get out of their lunch wave to come down and eat. They like the motivation before the test. Also our CTE department is working on allowing those students with good faith effort to leave early the day before spring break. (not approved yet). We recognize passing students at banquet with a plaque and bringing them on stage. I talk it up big in my room about FREE college credit and how much it means to me and my job for them to do their best and pass. When they care about you, and know your job matters they will make it matter is what I found last year.
We have study sessions as time gets closer to the exam. I also use KOSSA questions from the old tests for bellringers. We also send a letter home to parents to let them know that their child will be testing and I also keep a list in my room of each student and what pathway test they are taking. Once students have taken the KOSSA and if they pass they get green cords to wear at graduation, we cook them lunch in the past it has been grilled chicken or steak (depending on available funds), and we also highlight the fact that they get the 3 hours of college credit for electives.
We cook for them as well. We have AA according to testing areas, so the KOSSA kids have scheduled AA time then transition to another testing area.
We recognize the students at our FFA banquet; it is put in the paper along with the other awards. Also they are recognized at senior night.
For preparation, we use the released items and use the standards list to try and review what we have done in the classes.
We are giving our seniors who are college, and/or career ready, cords for graduation.
If they are college ready, they are getting a red cord. If they are career ready, they get a white cord. If they are both, they get a red and white cord.
Students were excited about this because our district has always been very strict about their rule that nothing is worn for decoration during graduation other than honors cords. We also put an a star beside their name in the graduation program to signify them as Career Ready. Both of these has been big motivation for students at our school.
We have really worked hard to re-vamp our awards now that career readiness is so important to the school. Before we were on our own, now the school is more involved in helping us motivate our students.
-We send letters home to parents informing them their student will test, in what areas and how they can receive college credit
-Students get cords at graduation, same as some of the above mentioned schools
-Students get to color in their name on a school poster showing they are CCR
-We provide breakfast one day when we review
-We cook for every student who passes (usually steak or chicken they have a choice)
-I have a list posted of every student testing in every area on a decorated bulletin board for all to see
Motivation and Review Techniques
-I talk to the students about how important it is for them to do their best because it looks poorly on me if they don't do well. (Most students WANT to do well for me when I explain this to them)
-I've started giving a mock exam in my greenhouse class. I chart their progress from test to test and I post class progress as well so they can see where they rank! This has been a HUGE motivation!!! They want to beat their scores as well as classmates.
-I review with students every chance I get. I've come up with a general "Study Guide" over things I've heard from students in the past that were on the exam. I try to cover topics, terminology and things like that from past tests. Ask your kids after they test what all was on it as far as concepts and things. They can typically at least remember things they DIDN'T know the answers to so you can improve your teaching for next year.
- I developed a KOSSA game that my horticulture classes use to study in down time or after a lesson. It's a basic board game with questions, dice, game pieces etc. I hope to develop more questions to make the game more interesting and fun, it's a work in progress.
-Review closer to test time if you can. Host an afternoon review night or a morning review time. If you have food you'll be amazed at how many kids will come!
-Go over general test taking strategies as well! Remind them to use reasoning to rule out some of the multiple choice answers.
I'm sure there's more, but these are some of the things I've found helpful over the years. And I can assure you my scores are not the best in the state but I've seen improvement since I started implementing some of these strategies.
ONE THING I WANT TO TRY!!!
I've heard of a school that lets students paint a block on the wall after they become CCR. I am thinking about trying this in my room with students as they pass KOSSA exams. I haven't decided for sure yet but I'm considering it!
Could you please share a copy of the letter that you send home?
This is a copy of the letter I send home. I also do a mail merge so the letter has each individual students name, their test, date and time of test, and it makes it a little more personal. If you do not know how to create a mail merge, as a technology teacher to show you. It's quick and easy!
Retrieving data ...