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FSA Prep – 3rd Grade

I know we don’t even want to think about it, but the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. As a teacher, I start August 3rd and my kids return August 10th. Like it or not, it’s time to prepare for the inevitable…

This past school year, 3rd graders took the FSA at the end of March and the beginning of April. We started practicing in January when we got back from winter break, but judging from scores and knowing the kids that are in our school, I believe we need to start practicing much earlier. I won’t lie and everyone knows that I am not a fan of this test nor any other standardized test, but they have to take it anyway.

I used these books last year to help the kids prep for the test. The format was good and easy to go through. I would usually give a Reading passage as morning work, and then during ELA we’d work on reading through the questions, going over testing strategies, etc. The same goes for during our math block. We would do fact review first and, of course, review some other concepts, then jump into answering these practice questions. We’d break apart how and what is being asked (because we all know testing language does not make sense) and then we’d try to solve the questions. While solving the question we would either review old concepts or delve straight into new topics. I would sometimes slip a few of these pages into their homework packets as well.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of testing but it has to be done here. My fellow Florida teachers know as well that 3rd grade is a critical year as it’s the first year that they take these tests and if they do not pass them, they are typically held back unless they fall into certain categories. Being that we are a Title 1 school and we’re not scoring well, it’s time we pick up the pace even more. We’ll need to try new things for sure, and one of those things will to be start practicing from the beginning of the year.

I would check the links below and definitely add them to your library. They wonderful resources to have when you start preparing for testing season. They also have them for other grades as well.
FLORIDA TEST PREP English Language Arts Reading Workbook Grade 3: Preparation for the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)

FLORIDA TEST PREP FSA Practice Test Book English Language Arts Grade 3: Covers Reading, Language, and Listening

FLORIDA TEST PREP FSA Practice Test Book Mathematics Grade 3: Includes Two Full-Length Practice Tests

Comment if you have any questions! I’d love to hear back from some other FL teachers!


Dedicated to Mrs. Conroy

This little write up is in response to one of the questions on my TEFL worksheet:

“In my opinion, one of the most important qualities that a teacher must possess is a combination of being lively and enthusiastic and being able to lead her students to an understanding of the subject matter. This leads me back to my seventh grade Language Arts teacher who taught us all a valuable lesson. She used a demonstration of making a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich to show us how important it is to never skip over even what might seem like the simplest step in a process. She stood in the front of the room with a bag of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a knife, and a plate. She then told us all to give her instructions on how to make the sandwich. It seemed easy enough to us.
One student said, “Put the bread on the plate.”
So, she picked up the loaf of bread, and placed it on the plate.
The kid then said, “No, no. Open the bag first, then put two pieces of bread on the plate.”
My teacher picked up the bag of bread and ripped open the bag, causing the bread to go all over. This resulted in the entire class exploding in laughter, but, nonetheless, it motivated us more. One can imagine how the rest of the lesson went; it was extremely messy and silly. At the end of the class though, a point had been made; never skip over a step, no matter how obscure or easy it may seem. This goes for teaching as well. In order to make sure that one’s students fully understand a subject, one has to be sure never skip over anything.”