1st Edition

Test Talk Integrating Test Preparation into Reading Workshop

By Glennon Doyle Melton, Amy H. Greene Copyright 2007

    Under No Child Left Behind, nearly every teacher faces a high-stakes balancing act; managing the often incompatible responsibilities of teaching students meaningfully or preparing them for standardized tests. Through their experiences teaching at a school that struggled to meet state test standards driven by NCLB, authors Amy Greene and Glennon Melton discovered a way to raise scores without compromising their strong beliefs about good teaching and learning. Their concise and easy-to-use bookTest Talk: Integrating Test Preparation Into Reading Workshop includes lesson plans and practice passages, as well as sample questions and suggested language to use during lessons. This compelling book shows that teachers don't have to choose between best practice teaching and test preparation; effective test-taking strategies can be integrated into authentic reading instruction. The authors demonstrate how to improve performance on tests without resorting to teaching to the test,- mnemonic devices, or other gimmicks. Instead, they focus on encouraging student readers to explore tests as a specific genre containing unique language, format, and cues. Throughout the book, classroom vignettes show how seamlessly one can weave the test genre into reading workshop and connect those specialized skills to more general reading strategies. It is an invaluable resource for any teacher who struggles with how to prepare kids for tests without sacrificing real teaching and learning.

    1: Beyond Hope and Honeybuns: Changing Our Approach to Test Preparation; 2: More Than Meets the Eye: Developing Strategies That Help Readers Become Test Takers; 3: What's It All About? Finding the Main Idea; 4: Motives in Messages: Identifying Author's Intent; 5: Breaking the Code: Studying Words; 6: Teaching the Art and Science of Poetry: Fostering Poets; 7: Reading Between the Lines: Inferring to Build Meaning; Conclusion: Embracing the Testing Challenge


    The daughter of lifelong educators, Glennon learned the value of a life dedicated to children from her parents. After graduating from James Madison University, Glennon spent six years learning the art of teaching from the gifted staff and students at Annandale Terrace Elementary in Fairfax County, Va. Now she spends her days learning from her own children and raises them alongside her husband and hero, Craig. Glennon and her coauthor Amy H. Greene wrote a commentary on thoughtful test preparation for Education Week on August 15, 2007. Amy Greene has been an educator for almost twenty years. She has been a classroom teacher, Title I reading teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, staff developer, course instructor, and literacy consultant. Currently Amy is a language arts resource teacher and coach working alongside students and teachers in classrooms at Annandale Terrace Elementary in Fairfax County, Virginia. Amy and her coauthor Glennon Doyle Melton wrote a commentary on thoughtful test preparation for Education Week on August 15, 2007. They also participated in an EdWeek online chat. Read Amy and Glennon's article from the September 2007 issue of Language Magazine on testing, vocabulary, and ELLs.