FCAT With LOL CATS Get your groans and moans out of your system now so you can pay attention! We need to go over a few things before you take the FCAT! Hopefully the LOL Cats will make you LOL along the way!
Please Take A Moment to watch this short video • http://youtu.be/BBPlTa64Aeg
FCAT Skills You have been and will continue to be working on every single skill tested on the FCAT reading test all year. In fact, you have been working on FCAT reading skills in every class you have taken since you have learned to read! Even when you are not directly talking about FCAT, if you are working hard in classes you are being prepared!
When is FCAT? April 16th – April 20th That is soon!
All multiple choice • 50-55 questions • 70% informational • 30% literary • Content Focus Areas: • Vocabulary • Reading Application • Literary Analysis (Fiction/Nonfiction) • Informational Text/ Research Process What can I expect?
What Can I Expect? • 300-1500 words in each passage with 900-1000 words on average per passage • 10-20% of the questions will be considered easy • 45-65% of the questions will be considered of moderate difficulty • 25-35% of the questions will be considered hard
I did fine last year, so I should be fine this year, right? • Do you wear the same clothes that you wore in elementary school? Listen to the same music? Do the same things? No- you have GROWN since then! • Your skill level needs to grow each year too! • Each year the test expects you to have a higher level of reading comprehension, so it is harder.
For example, let’s say your comprehension level was very HIGH in elementary school and your achievement level was a 4 or 5. • If your comprehension stayed exactly the same, in middle school your comprehension would have been right where it should have been, so your score would have been a 3. • If you still made no gains, in high school your score would be a 2 and you would not pass! • NOBODY can afford to not improve every year. I am going to show you how!
But I had a 5 last year- even if I drop I will still pass! • Not necessarily- are you willing to take that chance? We had over 100 students drop from a level 4 or 5 last year because they chose to put in minimum effort rather than show what they are capable of. Some of them did NOT pass and have to retake the test this year! Those dropped scores impact things like your ELECTIVE classes (art, P.E., computers, music, etc.) 150 students losing an elective period because they have to take intensive classes = 1 lost “fun” elective class for the school!
What is your goal? • Everyone’s first goal is to show growth. You do this by: • Maintaining a 3,4, or 5 (NOT dropping from a 5 to a 4 or a 4 to a 3!) • Increasing an achievement level (moving from a 2 to a 3, etc.) • Making more than one year’s growth within a level 1 or 2! • Your secondary goal is to score a 3 or higher, but if that doesn’t happen this year, as long as you are increasing each year you are headed in the direction you need to go! Your goal is to stare that test into submission!
Should I be worried? • You should take the test very seriously, but know that if you have been applying yourself in your classes, we have been preparing you, so you do not need to worry. • All year you have been working on your reading comprehension. Every time you read something in ANY of your classes, whether it is a textbook, article, novel or website, you are working on your reading comprehension . • If you work hard and do your best, we will be able to help you pass the FCAT!
Test anxiety • Remember that some anxiety is a GOOD thing because it means that you care about the outcome of the test and are motivated to do your best!We have confidence that if you use what you have been taught, are an active reader, and don’t give up on yourself, you will be fine! The good thing about FCAT is that it is not a memory test, it is a skill test, so there is nothing really to study and remember, it is all about applying yourself in that moment. That SHOULD lessen your anxiety!
What do I need to remember? • The reading test is basically an open book test. If you do not read actively, REREAD, and go back and look at the passages when you are answering questions, it is difficult to improve your score. • To be an ACTIVE reader means that you engage with the text.
STEP 1: Warm Up • To understand what you read, you need to focus on it and stop thinking about lunch or the weekend! Get your brain ready to read by warming it up! • Survey the text (look at pictures, read captions, look at the title and subtitles, skim the questions) QUICKLY and decide what you think it is going to be about. • Get your brain excited to learn about the topic! YOU CONTROL YOUR ATTITUDE ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO READ! If you immediately decide it is a boring topic, guess what---you will be BORED!
STEP 2: Get Active! Time to do the heavy lifting! Actively READ! Check for focus and understanding by highlighting key things as you read, and periodically writing a few words in a note. Don’t get lazy now! Stop and think about one paragraph before moving on to the next one. You are monitoring your understanding and you will remember more of what you read! REREADING paragraphs and even the whole passage will help you increase your score.
STEP 3: Cool Down • Answering questions is part of the cool down process because if you were an ACTIVE reader of the passage, this part should be EASY!! • Coverthe answer choices and come up with one in your head- this keeps you from being confused by the distractors. • Check your answers in the passage- it is an “open book” test and if you never look back at the passage, you will miss questions that you could have gotten right. Be sure to stay ACTIVE when reading the questions! Students often answer questions incorrectly because they didn’t read the question carefully!
What if I run out of time? • If you rush through the FCAT to finish in time, but sacrifice being an active reader because you are rushing, and you score 50%, how is that better than taking your time and only getting to 75% of the questions but getting more of them right? • Most students will score higher if they take their time even if they run out of time AS LONG AS YOU ARE TRULY USING EVERY MINUTE, not running out of time because you stared into space or put your head down! • Time isn’t an issue in the long run! Why? Because if you have to take a retake in 11th or 12th grade, you will have ALL DAY, so time will not be an issue. • What will be an issue? If you haven’t practiced being an active reader so you still rush and only get 50% right even when you have all day to take the test!
Test Expectations • Do your personal best • Read the passages twice • Check your answers • Work for at least 45 of the 70 minutes of the allotted time YOU Can do this! You are ready, you are capable and you will defeat the fcat!
Take a minute to watch this FCAT Music video from some students in south florida http://youtu.be/POLzlB3Lpzk