The Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) test is a growth assessment given to K – 12 students that provides data to help teachers teach, students learn, and administrators lead. The MAP test is typically administered several times during the academic school year, but it’s the initial fall testing period that provides teachers with a clear picture of where students are at the beginning of the school year so they can hone their curriculum accordingly. While teachers will communicate with students about the test, goals, and expectations, there’s no lack of opportunity for parents looking to prepare their kids for testing and other subject matter, like reading and mathematics.
Here are five ways that parents can prepare their children for testing:
- Meet with your child’s teacher as often as needed to discuss his or her progress. Ask the teacher to suggest activities for you and your child to do at home to help prepare for tests and improve your child’s understanding of schoolwork. Parents and teachers working together benefits students.
- Provide a quiet, comfortable, distraction-free place for studying at home.
- Make sure that your child is well rested on school days and especially the day of a test. Children who are tired are less able to pay attention in class or to handle the demands of a test.
- Give your child a well-rounded diet. A healthy body leads to a healthy, active mind.
- Provide books and magazines for your child to read at home. By reading new materials, a child learns new words that might appear on a test. Ask your child’s school about a suggested outside reading list or get suggestions from the public library.
Here are six ways that parents can help their children with reading:
- Provide many opportunities for your child to read books or other materials. Read aloud to your child. Research shows that this is the most important activity that parents can do to increase their child’s chance of reading success. Keep reading aloud even when your child can read independently.
- Make time for the library.
- Play games like Scrabble®, Spill and Spell™, Scattergories®, and Balderdash™ together.
- Follow your child’s interests, and find fiction and nonfiction books that tie into these interests. You can use a third-party site like The Lexile Framework for Reading to help find the right book for your reader.
- Work crossword puzzles with your child.
- Give a magazine subscription as a gift.
Here are five ways that parents can help their children with mathematics:
- Spend time with kids on simple board games, puzzles, and activities that encourage strong math skills. Even everyday activities, such as playing in a sandbox or in a bath tub can teach children math concepts such as weight, density, and volume. Check your TV listings for shows that can reinforce math skills in a practical and fun way.
- Encourage children to solve problems. Provide assistance, but let them figure it out themselves. Problem solving is a lifetime skill.
- The kitchen is filled with opportunities to teach fractional measurements, such as doubling and dividing cookie ingredients.
- Point out ways that people use math every day to pay bills, balance their checkbooks, make change, and calculate a tip at restaurants. Involve older children in projects that incorporate geometric and algebraic concepts, such as planting a garden, building a bookshelf, or figuring how long it will take to drive to your family vacation destination.
- Children should learn to read and interpret charts and graphs, such as those found in daily newspapers. Collecting and analyzing data will help your child draw conclusions and become discriminating readers of numerical information.
While teachers play an integral role in the education of children, it goes without saying that parental involvement makes the biggest difference in a child’s scholastic success. For additional tips and ways to help your child succeed, ask their teachers for suggestions, or check out some of our past posts for parents.