The #1 Curriculum and Assessment Partner for Educators

4 Things to Do Right Now to Get the Most Out of Study Island for State Test Preparation

4 Things to Do Right Now to Get the Most Out of Study Island for State Test Preparation

State tests are right around the corner, so most likely, preparation in your classroom, campus, or district is well underway— even with many details of how testing will play still to be defined Chances are that you already have a well-thought-out test-prep plan in place, but do you have a reliable practice program? Even the most well-laid-out plans need proper implementation, and this is where Study Island can help. With rigorous, proven content that is built using your state’s standards; 10,000-plus technology-enhanced items; and structured methods of meaningful practice, Study Island is the perfect partner for your test-prep needs.

If we haven’t already convinced you, here are a few tips to implement right now to step up your test-preparation efforts with Study Island.

1. Make practice fun with new game-based Group Sessions

It can be hard to get students to really engage in test preparation, but Study Island’s game-based Group Sessions make practice fun for students. In race mode, students race to answer the most questions correctly in the quickest time. In challenge mode, the teacher leads students through a competitive quiz, with students earning points for correct answers and quick responses.

2. Shift your focus to science review

With a lot of strong focus on reading and math in the early grades, students may have gaps in science knowledge that are often not brought to light until the grades when science is tested. Teachers can use Study Island to identify where students’ science skills are lacking, and use the programming offered that is explicitly designed to help students master the content specified in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Study Island give students an engaging platform from which to practice and learn key science content.

Walton County School District (WCSD) in Florida implemented Study Island in the fall of 2016 for grades 3–8 as a tool to help boost science scores. The district saw Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) proficiency at the schools using Study Island rise as much as 13 percent.

“There was a direct correlation to the growth of those schools that used [Study Island] with fidelity and used it often,” said Russell Hughes, superintendent of WCSD. “We’ve correlated the usage with the fidelity and the growth and found that it is one of the keys to our success.”

At Central Elementary School in Lucedale, Mississippi, intense science practice happens every Monday. Students in grades 4–5 spend an hour receiving targeted science instruction from their teachers followed by 45 minutes of Study Island science practice. After implementing Study Island, Central Elementary experienced a 12 percent jump in science proficiency in spring 2018 on the science portion of the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program (MAAP).

3. Launch a class, grade-level, or school challenge

One surefire way to get students excited about test preparation is to turn it into a challenge. Students can work toward a goal, such as becoming part of the 100 Blue Ribbon Club, as the students at Central Elementary in Indiana do, or get to move their star to higher and higher increments on the Blue Ribbon Wall like students at Fortville Elementary in Indiana.

To get students motivated to prepare for the NWEA MAP assessment, Adair County Elementary School (ACES) in Kansas launched a Study Island Math Bowl in which homerooms competed against each other, earning a yard for each Blue Ribbon and a touchdown for every 100 yards. At the end of each six weeks, the homeroom with the most yards won. With the help of Study Island, ACES met its goals for the math MAP test and exceeded its projected growth.

If you’re thinking that a contest sounds great, but you’re not sure where to begin, we have you covered. Check out our flexible, step-by-step toolkit that walks you through creating your own Study Island contest! Motivating your students with a Study Island competition has never been easier.  

4. Take advantage of our Teacher Toolkit

Preparing for state tests often means a lot of reteaching and reviewing. The Study Island Teacher Toolkit provides a wealth of resources to help you present previously taught topics in new and different ways.

Also, there are nearly 300 short, instructional and guided-practice videos for grades 2–8 in math and reading. These videos are called “Taco’s Video Lessons,” and all are available in the Teacher Toolkit, as well as in some Study Island topics.

Want to learn more about how Study Island can support your test-preparation efforts? Sign up for a free 21-day trial.

This post was originally published March 2019 and has been updated.