Getting Ready for the State Tests1

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Third Grade

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BECOMING TEST SAVVY This year, you will take wo tests that ALL 3rd graders in New York State have to take. Taking these tests should not make you nervous. They are made just for 3rd graders and test what you have learned. And, we are going to learn some tricks about taking tests!

What we notice about tests: : 

What we notice about tests: Underlines, bold print, italics Illustrations, graphs, diagrams Titles, captions, bullets Words on the bottom: GO, STOP Directions about what to do Words like “about,” “include” in directions Graphic organizers, photos Words in different sizes and fonts Words or pictures in boxes ALL of these are there to HELP you!

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TESTING VOCABULARY You will often see these words and phrases on a reading test. article -- a short nonfiction text full of facts and some opinions detail -- a small piece of important information opposite -- different in every way passage -- piece of text usually one or two paragraphs long phrase -- a part of a sentence selection -- the story or nonfiction text you will be reading, or just finished sequence -- the order of items, events, occurrences, etc. similar -- nearly, but not exactly the same statement -- a sentence taken out of a story or article that you need to think about theme -- the idea or message the author wants you to think about topic -- what the text is about

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TESTING VOCABULARY You will often see these words and phrases on a reading test. Other phrases often within the questions: best describes -- another way of saying something main purpose -- usually relates to why the author wrote the text mainly about -- the main idea most important --thinking through details to come up with the main one most likely -- a reader can't be sure, but there is a good answer in the choices most probably -- there is a good chance that there is a good answer in the choices most probably not -- there is a good chance that one answer is not a good one right after -- what comes next

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Poetry mood -- the feeling or atmosphere of the poem tone -- similar to mood, it creates a feeling in the reader stanza -- similar to a paragraph, consists of at least two lines line -- similar to a sentence or a phrase Genre Specific Vocabulary

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Genre Specific Vocabulary Fiction characters -- the people or animals in the story setting -- the place and time of the story plot -- the sequence of events in the story problem -- a problem of ideas, actions or wills solution -- how the problem is resolved events -- the events in the story leading up to the solution of the problem

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Genre Specific Vocabulary Non-fiction caption -- a description or explanation of a photo or illustration bullets -- a mark to distinguish items in a list text box -- a box within the book having information about the topic diagram -- a drawing, graph, table, chart to help understand the topic chart -- a visual representation of the subject matter

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Looking at Directions When you read directions in a reading test you should look for words like ABOUT or INCLUDE. Circle the word and underline everything in the sentence after it. You can often find a clue to the main idea of the passage in the words you have underlined.

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Multiple Choice Strategies When taking a multiple choice test, even if you do not know an answer, you can often think through the choices to find the MOST LIKELY answer. Remember these strategies! Read the question carefully Look for underlined, bolded or italicized words to circle, such as: *mostly *right after *main purpose *not in the article *best *most important *good title

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Read each of the choices. Cross out the one or two answers that make NO sense at all. Think about the choices left and try to decide on the right one. (You may have to make a really good guess.) Put a check next to the questions that puzzle you. Be sure to select an answer, but you can come back, if you have time. Check the number next to the test question. Make sure you put your answer in the same number on the answer sheet. If you skip a question, be sure to skip that number on the answer sheet also.

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Using Your Time Efficiently What should you do if you finish a test before time is up? CONCENTRATE ON YOUR TEST What should you do if you see people around you finishing? CONCENTRATE ON YOUR TEST What should you do if you feel you are working slowly? CONCENTRATE ON YOUR TEST How long is a minute? What does 5 minutes feel like? During the year, we will practice several ways to help us keep track of time.

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Looking for and Using Clues in Short Sections of Text When you read, you may come across words and phrases that are unfamiliar to you. We will learn strategies for figuring out what these words mean. Clues to unknown words are often hidden in the sentence or sentences around the unknown words! Can you find the hidden animals?

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How do we find the meaning of new words? We think about new words and what they might mean. We read AROUND the word in the same sentence and in the paragraph to look for context clues. We put the clues together in our mind to define the unfamiliar word. We may not always come up with the exact meaning, but we can at least find a meaning that makes sense in the story.

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Looking for and Using Clues in Longer Passages In addition to using context clues in the sentence or paragraph around an unfamiliar word or phrase, we can look for clues in nearby pages or pictures. We should use ALL the clues available!

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Your turn! Let's see if you can think through what "irrigation" means in this section paragraph? We didn't have anything we needed for baseball, but the grown-ups were pretty smart. They funneled water from irrigation ditches to flood what would become our baseball field. The water packed down the dust and made it hard. There weren't any trees, but they found wood to build the bleachers. Bats, balls and gloves arrived in cloth sacks from friends back home. My mom and other moms took the covers off mattresses and used them to make uniforms. They looked almost like the real thing.

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Did You Find These Context Clues? …water packed down the dust… …funneled water from… …to flood...our baseball field… …ditches… Irrigation = a way of watering fields

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Looking for Clues in Nonfiction In nonfiction, each topic has its own vocabulary. Dinosaurs, whales, butterflies, cars, robots, solar system -- each of these has words not found in the others. However, because the authors know this, they give you help to figure out the meanings. They use: * signal words * synonyms * bold type * definitions

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Where do you find clues or information that help you with the meaning of words in NON FICTION? Signal words such as: “or”, “called”… Bold type for important words Commas after bold type meaning “more information coming…” Glossaries Words around diagrams or pictures Text boxes

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Ancient Animals Sea turtles have been on Earth over 200 million years--since the time dinosaurs lived. Long ago, their ancestors lived on land but started spending more time in the ocean. Over millions of years, the feet of the sea turtle ancestors turned into flippers, and their bodies became more streamlined, or smoothly shaped. There are more than 260 species, or kinds, of turtles. There are only seven species of sea turtles. They are shown on these two pages. Sea turtles vary in size, color, and shape. Although they differ in appearance, they have similar habits and behaviors. Streamlined means: smoothly shaped Species means: kinds

Now Don’t You Feel More Confident? : 

Now Don’t You Feel More Confident? SOME MORE ADVICE Get a good night’s sleep. Eat a good breakfast. Focus, focus Read carefully Double check!

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GOOD LUCK! I’M PROUD OF YOU.

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